Catholic involvement ‘critical’ in Virginia abortion funding victory, advocate says
Virginia Catholic Conference director Jeff Caruso.
Virginia Catholic Conference director Jeff Caruso.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- “Countless hours” of behind-the-scenes advocacy helped add significant restrictions on abortion funding to the Virginia budget, the director of the Virginia Catholic Conference (VCC) has explained. Recounting how years of work finally succeeded, he said the participation of involved Catholics made “the critical difference.”

In an account posted on the blog of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, VCC head Jeff Caruso noted that the Conference has pushed for restrictions on abortion since its inception in 2005. Its figures showed that Virginian taxpayers have been paying for more than 100 abortions per year.

“Promotion of laws that uphold the sanctity of life is an important part of the pro-life work of Catholic Virginians,” Caruso noted, saying that this includes outreach to women in crisis pregnancies and post-abortion outreach.

Members of the VCC’s e-mail advocacy network “consistently” voiced their opposition to paying for abortions in “hundreds” of e-mails to their delegates and state senators, he recalled. However, in each General Assembly session the House of Delegates would approve abortion-funding restrictions but these would be rejected by “a few Senate leaders” during final budget negotiations.

According to Caruso, the support of Gov. Bob McDonnell helped power the success of the 2010 restriction effort. On April 13, the governor proposed an amendment to ban state funding of all abortions except those required by federal law or state statute.

“The Conference, its allies, and its grassroots network sprinted toward the finish line with a clear goal — to capture a majority of votes in the Senate, where both supporters and opponents of the amendment expected a razor-thin margin,” Caruso commented.

The VCC sent multiple alerts to its network, communicated with key senators, and coordinated with allied pro-life organizations. The Conference also provided urgent bulletin and pulpit announcements to parishes and then followed up with parish leaders in key districts.

While the Senate vote appeared to be a 20-20 tie that could be broken by the vote of the anti-funding Lieutenant Gov. Bill Bolling, he was stranded in Italy because of the volcanic activity in Iceland.

This resulted in intensified pro-life efforts. While the House approved the amendment by a 64-30 margin, the Catholic Conference learned that one of the Senate’s pro-life legislators had to catch a plane flight before the Senate vote.

At 9:00 p.m. on April 21, Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) explained the amendment and “effectively” countered the arguments of the five senators who spoke against the bill, according to Caruso.

“As pro-life advocates watched from the Senate gallery, the contentious floor debate concluded, and senators were asked to record their votes. As the green and red dots were registered next to each senator’s name on the electronic voting board, the green thankfully outnumbered the red … by one. The Senate’s 20-19 vote handed the pro-life cause in Virginia a historic victory!”

Caruso reported that there was an “unprecedented level” of responses to VCC network alerts on the abortion funding restriction proposal. Those who responded to the alert, including parishes who promoted it, made “the critical difference.”

The VCC head urged Catholics in Virginia to visit the Conference’s website, http://vacatholic.org, and enroll as a network member.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 22, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: 1 Sam 1: 24-28
Gospel:: Lk 1: 46-56

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27