On Nov. 5, I’m voting for the pro-life candidate for the VA House of Delegates, District 29. That candidate is Irina Khanin.
I’ll tell you who is not pro-life: incumbent Del. Chris Collins. Just look at his record for the past two legislative sessions and you’ll see that he talks about being pro-birth, but he offers little or no protections for actual living, breathing Virginians.
He voted against Medicaid expansion (HB 5001S1), which now helps more than 300,000 Virginians get access to health care services. That’s a pro-life policy helping real people and was enacted despite his lack of support.
He voted yes to reinstate a tax credit for the coal industry (HB665), but he voted against multiple bills that would create regional initiatives on climate change, including carbon cap and trade programs and solar subsidies (HB2269, HB1372, HB1270 and HB30, item117#1h). Climate change is an existential threat and will continue to negatively affect Virginia crops, seashores, air quality and, ultimately, its residents, now and in the future, but Rep. Collins voted against sound pro-life policies that begin to address these effects.
He voted against bringing the Equal Rights Amendment to the floor for a vote (HR 274); the Amendment would outlaw discrimination based on gender. Rep. Collins votes yes on bills that deny reproductive choice for Virginia women and tells them they don’t deserve equal rights. This is an anti-women stance, not pro-life.
And he voted to end a special Virginia legislative session on common-sense gun safety. Protecting students, concert-goers, Walmart shoppers, workers, government employees, and Virginians alive today from the horrors of mass shootings and gun violence is a pro-life policy. Rep. Collins is strictly pro-gun and offers no solutions on ending the scourge of gun deaths in our state.
Don’t let anyone tell you pro-life strictly refers to anti-abortion. Pro-life means protecting our environment for today and the future, strengthening our public schools, improving access to health care and mental health care services, respecting women and their equal and reproductive rights, enacting common sense gun-safety laws, and ensuring that all Virginians can live safely and productively, regardless of income, race, gender, or gender identity, or religion.
My pro-life candidate is Irina Khanin for the House of Delegates in the 29th District. And so are other pro-life candidates: Ronnie Ross for Senate; and Wendy Gooditis and Mavis Taintor for the House of Delegates.