Since the beginning of the Virginia General Assembly session on Jan. 9, we have witnessed the introduction of extreme abortion legislation culminating in an attempt to pass a law similar to what New York recently passed.
This bill rightfully failed — but I am, along with so many people, distraught that the bill was introduced in the first place. It could have paved the way for babies to suffer a violent and gruesome death moments before birth and could have been harmful to women.
My hope is that this bill failed because the elected officials of the state legislature recognized that it was an evil and impermissible offense to human life and our collective decency. Abortion of a baby in the final stage of pregnancy borders on infanticide.
Our governor, however, may be willing to cross that border and go even farther. In a staggering admission, Gov. Ralph Northam stated that after an infant is delivered, the mother and the family should keep the baby comfortable, resuscitate the child “if that’s what the mother and the family desired,” and “a discussion would ensue.” This attitude reflects a new level of deep-rooted animus against the inherent goodness of every child.
This is a critical moment in the life of our church and our society. We must advocate for the right to life of all people, including the unborn and those children whose lives are at risk even during the process of birth. In Virginia, with the assistance of the Virginia Catholic Conference, we must make our views known to our elected officials on all issues where the right to life is at stake.
Through the Diocese of Arlington, we continue to offer assistance to expectant families in need and those who are suffering after an abortion. Families who need help should contact the diocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Respect Life at arlingtondiocese.org.
The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge,
Bishop of Arlington.