March for Life

Members of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Winchester attend Thursday’s March for Life in Richmond to protest the state legislature passing bills to loosen abortion restrictions in Virginia.

WINCHESTER — About 50 people from Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church and other churches boarded a bus Thursday morning to travel to Richmond to attend the Virginia March for Life to protest attempts by Democratic state legislators to loosen abortion restrictions

The Associated Press reports that more than 1,000 activists attended the rally at the Virginia State Capitol to pressure lawmakers to vote against bills that will undo abortion regulations. The march was organized by various organizations, including the Virginia Catholic Conference and the Family Foundation.

“It’s a witness to what we stand for,” said Frances Moyer, a member of Sacred Heart’s Respect Life Committee. “We believe life is sacred from conception.”

Both the House of Delegates and the Senate have passed bills that will eliminate a 24-hour waiting period to have an abortion, as well as requirements that women seeking an abortion undergo an ultrasound, receive counseling, and be given a statement of the probable gestational age of the fetus. The legislation also absolves abortion facilities from regulations that set minimum standards for hospitals. Senate Bill 733 was introduced by Democratic Sen. Jennifer McClellan, while House Bill 980 was introduced by Democratic Del. Charniele L. Herring.

On her official Facebook page, McClellan has said her bill removes “unnecessary and onerous restrictions on a woman’s access to abortion care” and called it “a huge step forward for women’s reproductive rights in Virginia.”

HB 980 expands who can perform first trimester abortions to include physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners. Currently, only physicians can perform an abortion in Virginia. An amended version of the Senate bill would allow nurse practitioners, but not physician’s assistants, to perform abortions during the first trimester.

Cabell Angle, president of the New Eve Maternity Home in Winchester, said march participants hope to change hearts and minds.

“It’s a serious issue and it should be regulated,” he said. “There should be restrictions. We think the example set by political leaders is important.”

Angle said he opposes abortion in all cases, including rape and incest.

“We know it’s difficult but we still think that it’s a sacred human life,” Angle said.

Moyer said she opposes abortion in all cases, unless the life of the mother is at risk.

Karen O’Neil, who attends Fellowship Bible Church, joined the members of Sacred Heart on their trip to Richmond. She said she fears that removing the 24-hour waiting period could cause pregnant women to make a rash decision.

“It’s a decision that lasts your life,” O’Neil said. “You can’t undo it. Once it’s done it’s done. I think the ultrasound too is very important because a lot of these ladies in crisis will, when they see the ultrasound, they see the baby moving. It changes their heart and mind towards carrying out the pregnancy, which is God’s design. Once it’s started, you are not to unplug it.”

O’Neil said the March for Life was “respectful” and that several speakers encouraged the crowd.

“It was nice to be there and we were encouraged to follow up and not let it stop there,” O’Neil said.

— Contact Josh Janney

at jjanney@winchesterstar.com

(26) comments

Scott68

So lets make this very clear. The purpose of having sex is for what purpose? Creating Life! So its Murder pure and simple. And never heard of anyone having a cell shower or fetus shower.... They are called baby showers! And if you are in a relationship that does not allow for procreation then you really have no point in commenting on the issues of abortion!

Violet

It is not a 'life' at the point of conception, it's a group of cells that are alive just like the rest of the human body, but no it is not a separate viable life. It is the woman's choice to make what to do with her body and no one elses.

Ping

When does a life become "viable"? Some people don't have physically or mentally "viable" lives, the whole of their lives. So, when does life become life? Just when you say so?

ShruggingAtlas

Oh yeah, the "magic birth canal" transformation from "clump of cells" to human being fallacy. You know, all human beings are "clumps of cells", right?

Blondie

Then why doesn't she decide not to get pregnant in the first place.

slowe

This is all just religious ( Catholic and conservative Protestants) bigotry and bullying. Let them practice and condemn abortions amongst and on themselves, inside their religions. But, they have not right to impose it on others, other religions, or the non-religious. Freedom of Religion also means Freedom FROM another's religion. I do not have to follow YOUR religion's rules.

Ping

And I do not have to follow YOUR irreligion. They have the perfect right to march and advocate for the policies they feel are right. Just because you disagree with them doesn't mean you get to shut them up.

slowe

Of course they do. I did not say they should or could not march. They can march from Richmond to DC! I never tried to shut them up. Please don't read what I did not write. It's just that I also have the right of free speech to disagree with them an to voice or write my position about theirs. PS: I have not religion. I do not ask you to convert or follow my philosophy. Just that you not impose yours on me or anyone else.

Blondie

I wish slowe would crawl back under his rock and quit talking about things that he knows nothing about.

ShruggingAtlas

Well, you can't even get your sex preference correct so.....

Blondie

Good one, ShruggingAtlas.

Steve Cunningham

Murder of another human is not only one of God's laws but one of man's laws as well. We know as a liberal that you get to pick and choose which laws you will obey, but murdering another human in wrong it either case that you choose to ignore.

slowe

Again,,, and Again,,,, and again. It is not a human being, yet. It is not murder. Abortion is neither illegal. If you consider it a sin (in your religious context) then don't do it. But you may not impose your sins or rules for sins of your religion on others.

ShruggingAtlas

Ironic how you use similar arguments that apologists for slavery used.

djaswa

So when does it become a human being if not at conception? Whether something is illegal or not does not determine whether something is moral. If it is true that legality equals morality, then those who ran the Underground Railroad would have been immoral since they did so against the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

Violet

So rape and incest is "God's design"??

Ping

Rape and incest are the result of human sinfulness. The life formed by them, however, is still a life.

ShruggingAtlas

Yes, why would anyone who claims to be "pro-woman" encourage women to commit violence against their own bodies and their unborn child(ren)?

Violet

Violence? Hardly. Sometimes there are valid medical reasons such as a tubal pregnancy. If let alone to nature, the woman might die or become infertile & it's extremely painful. It isn't just black and white and wrong no matter what. A 5 week old fetus is not a baby nor a human being, not yet.

slowe

It is their choice and I respect that. I will defend their right to choose. Trust women. Leave them be. Let they manage their own bodies.

ShruggingAtlas

You are comparing a situation where the baby is already dead to actually murdering one. Please do your research before you comment again.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/symptoms-causes/syc-20372088

Steve Cunningham

Life is 'God's design' we as humans have no right to takeany life away.

slowe

Which god? Whose god? THere are hundreds or thousands. Not only yours. Let everyone choose their own god to follow. Unless you are going to dictate which god we must all worship and follow? Is that your intent?

ShruggingAtlas

There's only one. You'll be judged by Him someday. You still have time to stop your deceptions and repent.

Ping

Do you not understand that you are forcing your morals (whether or not you believe in any god) on others? Is your chosen "morality" somehow neutral while others' morals are inherently biased in some way? How does yours escape the taint of "forcing your opinion/beliefs on others"? Just because it doesn't have any god's name attached to it doesn't mean that it isn't the same kind of "forcing on others" that you decry.

djaswa

Violet, you say below that a 5 week old fetus is not a human being. At this point in time the fetus has a beating heart distinct from its mom which I would say is pretty good evidence that it is a separate human person. When do you say life begins?

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