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From start to finish, 2023 will be a big year for abortion policy in Virginia



When former Virginia Sen. Jen Kiggans was running for Congress last year, she sidestepped questions about her stance on abortion by saying it’s up to states to decide, not the federal government.

That answer isn’t really an option for Republican Kevin Adams, who’s running in a special election this week to replace Kiggans, a Republican, in a swingy state Senate district based in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.

In a matter of weeks, the winner of that contest could potentially be voting on Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposal to ban most abortions in Virginia after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Democrats and abortion-rights proponents are eager to remind voters of that fact, even though the odds of a dramatic shift in abortion policy remain slim in a General Assembly under split political control. However, that could change in 2024 if Republicans win anti-abortion majorities in both legislative chambers in November’s General Assembly elections when all 140 seats will be on the ballot.

The Senate special election Tuesday will be the first major indicator of how abortion politics could play out in post-Roe Virginia, where abortion remains legal. Still, Republicans are close to having enough power to pass stricter limits on how far into a pregnancy the procedure is allowed.

In the open Senate seat race, the Democratic candidate, former Virginia Beach city councilman Aaron Rouse, is running a TV ad that riffs on his earlier career as an NFL safety, promising to be the “last line of defense” for abortion rights if elected.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, whose PAC is putting $100,000 behind Rouse, is investing “a lot more resources and time and attention” in the special election than it would under normal circumstances, according to Jamie Lockhart, the group’s executive director.

“We know that every single seat matters,” Lockhart said. A Rouse win, she added, “would ensure that no abortion ban would get to Gov. Youngkin’s desk.”

Rouse successfully flipping the seat would lift Democrats’ hopes that protecting abortion access is a potent issue that could help the party bounce back from its unexpected losses in 2021. An extra Democratic vote in the state Senate, where Democrats had a 21-19 majority last year, would also make it nearly impossible for Republicans to pass new abortion restrictions in the session that begins Wednesday.

A victory by Adams, a retired Navy veteran whose website says he supports a 15-week limit and laws that “respect the rights of the mom and baby,” could signal to Republicans that pushing for tougher abortion restrictions isn’t as perilous as some might think for GOP leaders trying to govern a politically split state. But even if Adams wins, the legislative math won’t get any better for Republicans than it was last year, when the Republican-led House of Delegates chose not to press the issue, knowing any anti-abortion bills would fail in the Senate.

Currently, state law allows largely unrestricted access to abortion in the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Abortion in the third trimester, which begins around the 28th week, is allowed only when three doctors agree continuing the pregnancy poses a severe threat to the mother.

Republicans have advocated for an earlier cutoff at 12 weeks, 15 weeks or 20 weeks, proposals often based on disputed theories about when a fetus can feel pain.

When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Roe v. Wade precedent last year, giving states more power to restrict abortion, Youngkin said he would “take every action that I can to protect life” and indicated he was convening a group of Republican lawmakers to work on legislation for the 2023 session.

“We can build a bipartisan consensus on protecting the life of unborn children, especially when they begin to feel pain in the womb, and importantly supporting mothers and families who choose life,” Youngkin said in a news release at the time.

The governor has said he supports exceptions for cases of rape and incest and when the mother’s life is at risk. It’s unclear how lenient or limited those exceptions might be, because the administration-backed legislation has not yet been filed for public review.

Because almost all elective abortions happen in the early stages of pregnancy, the vast majority of abortions currently performed in Virginia would still be allowed under a 15-week limit. According to CDC data from 2019, 97.5% of abortions performed in Virginia occurred within 15 weeks. More recent data from the Virginia Department of Health show that more than 95% of the 16,252 abortions reported in Virginia in 2021 occurred during the first trimester. Still, a stricter cutoff raises fraught questions about what options would be available to women who find out something has gone wrong late in pregnancy.

“A ban is plain and simple,” said Lockhart. “The goal of this ban, as with all abortion bans, is to stop people from accessing essential health care.”

Republicans have pressed Democrats to explain exactly where they think the cutoff for elective abortions should be, at times pointing back to a controversial but failed Democratic bill from 2019 that would have loosened restrictions on abortion in the third trimester.

“Is the other side of the aisle all at 40 weeks?” Del. Emily Brewer, R-Suffolk, said in an interview. “I think that’s the most pertinent question to which I want an answer.”

Several Democrats have said they support the existing law, which restricts abortion access after 27 weeks.

The Republican abortion restrictions expected to be filed for the upcoming session differ greatly in terms of severity and impact. Hard-right Del. Marie March, R-Floyd, has introduced a total abortion ban via a bill that declares “life begins at conception” and repeals every provision of state law authorizing abortion. Sen. Amanda Chase, R-Chesterfield, has indicated she intends to file similar legislation in the Senate.

Some conservatives, including Virginia Rep. Bob Good, R-Campbell, have criticized 15-week laws as not going far enough.

Todd Gathje, director of government relations for the Virginia anti-abortion group The Family Foundation, said his organization intends to support both a ban beginning at conception and a less drastic 15-week cutoff due to “certain political realities.”

“There are those within the pro-life community who recognize that politically and legislatively, things have to be done incrementally given the dynamics within the state legislature,” Gathje said. “At the end of the day, we want to do whatever we can to save as many pre-born babies as possible.”

Acknowledging it’s unlikely that any new abortion restrictions can pass in 2023, Gathje said there are other steps the legislature could take toward the goal of making abortion “unthinkable,” like providing more support for new mothers.

“It’s vitally important that the legislature really looks at proposals that help provide financial resources and information to mothers both pre- and post-birth,” Gathje said.

Before going to the Senate floor, abortion bills go through the chamber’s Education and Health Committee, where Democrats have a 9-6 majority. The committee’s chairwoman, Sen. Louise Lucas, D-Portsmouth, has repeatedly promised to stop anti-abortion bills that get to her docket.

The Democrats’ Senate blockade isn’t a sure bet, however, because Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, has expressed unpredictable but generally conservative views on abortion. In a recent interview with Richmond TV station WRIC, Morrissey said he would take an “open mind” approach to abortion bills that come up this year.

Even if the bills are blocked in committee, there are ways Republicans could try to force a vote on the Senate floor, either by amending a different bill or by adding language to the state budget.

If Morrissey were to vote with Republicans in a floor vote, a 20-20 tie could be broken by Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears. A 20-20 tie becomes even less likely if Democrats win the Virginia Beach race because, with 22 seats, the caucus could still prevail with one defection.

If Senate Democrats fail to flip the Virginia Beach seat and have the same 21-19 Senate majority they had in 2022, the expected departure of Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, could be another complicating factor.

McClellan, one of the legislature’s top abortion-rights champions, is the heavy favorite to win a Feb. 21 special election for the Richmond-area congressional seat left vacant by the death of former Rep. Donald McEachin. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on Feb. 24 and return on April 12 to take up Youngkin’s vetoes and amendments.

If McClellan wins, Democrats could potentially be down to just 20 votes on at least some legislative business, depending on when she resigns her seat and is sworn into the U.S. House of Representatives.

In an interview, McClellan said she’s confident the timing of her election to the higher office won’t disrupt any votes during the regular session, which will likely end before all the paperwork is complete to certify the congressional election results.

“But Aaron Rouse is going to win,” she said. “And with a 22-18 majority, whenever I leave, things are going to be fine.”

McClellan said she expects her caucus to hold firm on any anti-abortion bills coming over from the House.

“I’m not going to take anything for granted,” McClellan said. “But I am confident that Senate Democrats will block any efforts to roll back reproductive freedom.”


by Graham Moomaw, Virginia Mercury

Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.

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Pickleball variants open sports to folks with limited mobility



The 21st century has already unveiled numerous history-changing inventions. The smartphone, the James Webb telescope, pickleball…wait, pickleball? Yup. Pickleball is disrupting sports, and just as importantly, it’s giving folks an activity even if their mobility is limited.

Tennis has long ranked among the most popular sports, with Wimbledon alone drawing in roughly 30 million viewers. But playing tennis is really hard. The ball moves so fast that most of us simply can’t keep up.

Pickleball is similar to tennis, but it has a smaller court, players use small solid paddles, and the ball is hard plastic. The ball moves more slowly and bounces less, so you don’t need cat-like reflexes. Since you don’t have to move as much on the court, pickleball is a good option for players in wheelchairs or who otherwise have limited mobility.

Further, by simply adding more players to the court, pickleball becomes even more accessible. Ultimately, the more players added, the more folks that can participate. That’s not just because more people are on the court. If you have limited mobility, more players mean you don’t have to move as far or as fast. You can fit six or more on the court quite easily, and the slower pace reduces the risks of collisions.

Pickleball can also easily be played in an indoor gym. This is great news for people who can’t cope with the summer heat or who sunburn easily. It’s also easy to set up glow-in-the-dark pickleball to escape the midday sun.

One study found that more than 35 million Americans played pickleball from August 2021 to August 2022.

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Fly Fishing on the Shenandoah River 2023: Shenandoah Reel Women camps for young women



Become part of a growing group of unique young women! Shenandoah Reel Women (SRW) and the Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River (FNFSR) are pleased to announce the upcoming fly fishing camps made possible by the 2023 Virginia Wildlife Grant Program through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources and the Wildlife Foundation of Virginia and awarded to FNFSR.

In these camps, young women will be mentored by established SRW members and volunteers. They will be introduced to the art of fly fishing, learning the basics of knot tying, the use of appropriate equipment, good casting techniques, river entomology and watershed conservation education. Rods, reels and necessary equipment will be available for participants’ use during the day camp and for additional summer fishing activities. Rods, reels and tool lanyards that are used by the participants of the overnight camps will become their property when they leave camp.

The day camp will be held at Seven Bends State Park in Woodstock, VA from June 27-29, and July 11-13, 9am to 3pm each day. The registration fee for these camps is $50. The overnight camps will be 5-day, 4- overnight camps at Shenandoah River State Park in Bentonville, VA. Girls will arrive at camp at lunchtime on Sunday and depart late afternoon on Thursday. The dates for these camps are June 11-15 and July 23-27. The registration fee for these camps is $150. Scholarships are available. Registration for either of these camps can be made at

For more information, please contact:

Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River was founded in 1988. Friends’ mission is to keep the North Fork of the Shenandoah River clean, healthy, and beautiful through advocacy, community action, education, and science. Since 2015, Friends of the North Fork has served as the Community-Support Organization for Seven Bends State Park. Through this role, Friends partners with the Department of Conservation and Recreation to help the community take advantage of increased river access and educational programming opportunities provided at the Park.

Seven Bends State Park was dedicated in 2005 and officially opened to the public in April 2020. Assistant Park Manager Thomas Stevens became the Park’s first full-time employee in late 2017. Ranger Stevens said, “The mission of Seven Bends State Park is to provide water and land based outdoor recreational and educational opportunities while protecting and interpreting the spectacular scenic viewshed and geological, natural and historical resources of the storied seven bends area. We are proud to be the host site of the Shenandoah Reel Women day camp as it aligns perfectly with our vision and purpose.”

Shenandoah River State Park opened in 1999 and has since served as a location for outdoor recreation as well as overnighting for folks from the area, NOVA, and Washington DC alike. Assistant Park Manager Kevin McDonald said “What an incredible opportunity to provide such an all-encompassing experience for young women. The ability to not only teach them valuable skills, but to do it in a start park setting and to share it with peers from all walks of life was a joy to be a part of.”

Two of the 2022 campers said: “It was so much fun to meet new people with the same interests as me. I think it was also very informational. We learned a lot about water conservation and the basics of fly fishing. I would definitely go back next year.” And “This was a great experience in not only fly fishing but in creating new friendships. The ladies at this camp are phenomenal and really help you understand the art of fly fishing. I would definitely recommend this camp.” From the parent of another 2022 camper: “My daughter has been so blessed to have women rally around her, pursuing a passion while teaching the next generation a skill. This is the idea – passing it down. In addition to that piece, being surrounded by a village of women – who are FOR women – is priceless. I am and will be eternally grateful for the vision and mission of SRW.” These girls are returning to the 2023 camps as peer mentors for both the day camp and overnight camps.

The Shenandoah Reel Women was founded in 2018 by three women who wanted to get out on the river fishing with other women. The idea of SRW was talked over, tossed about, and an idea took root. SRW has now grown to include women of all ages, from all corners of the state. The goal of SRW is to get more women and girls into the river to try their hand at fly fishing and, also, to engage in other outdoor pursuits like hiking, birding, tree and wildflower spotting, and nature photography.

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4 steps to help you choose the right camp



Although there are still a few months left in the school year, it’s time to start thinking about where to send your child to camp on summer break. Follow these steps to choose a camp to make your child’s summer enjoyable and memorable.

1. Determine your needs
Would you prefer to enroll your child in a day or summer camp? Does your child need to be dropped only off for a few days, or must they be there for most of the summer? These two questions will help you narrow down the list of potential camps.

2. Talk to your child
Your child knows best what they want. For example, ask your child what activities they’d like to try this summer, like cooking, archery, and science experiments. The activities offered can vary greatly from camp to camp.

3. Narrow down your options
Research and identify camps that meet your needs and will appeal to your kids. Rule out camps that are too far away or don’t fit your budget. Don’t hesitate to contact the organizers for more information.

4. Ask your child to make the final decision
Unless only one camp meets your requirements and matches your child’s interests, make a list of possible choices. Invite your kid to make the final decision.

Don’t wait until the last minute to register your child for a camp. Spots fill up fast!

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Why Self-awareness Is Essential For Any Entrepreneur Or Business Owner



Self-awareness is an essential aspect of every business owner’s life. While some people might think they are “self-aware,” they have little understanding of self-awareness. Many people have heard of “self-awareness” but do not understand what it means. If you are one of those people who don’t understand self-awareness, read on to better understand what it means.

Are you stuck in your ways? Do you lack the ability to change? Do you have the mindset that you can’t improve? If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time to take a step back and evaluate yourself.

It’s easy to focus on the negative and not see the positive in yourself. We often get so caught up in the day-to-day grind of life that we forget to look at the bigger picture. The biggest mistake you can make is not evaluating where you are, where you want to go, and what you need to do to get there.

You will have so much potential by taking a step back and evaluating yourself. You will also discover that you are capable of more than you ever thought possible.

Take Stock Of Your Potential

The world doesn’t always make sense to you, and that’s okay. You’re not alone; you don’t have to be there forever.

If you feel like you’re stuck in the middle, then that means that you’re on the right track. It would be best to find out where you are at this particular moment and understand where you want to go. Then, you need to figure out how to get there. You must identify what you want and ensure you have the tools. If you don’t, you’ll likely not achieve what you want.

You need to take stock of your capabilities and then use that to plan how you’ll get there. If you don’t, then you’re just wasting time and energy. You may be able to do much more than you realize, and you might be surprised at your capabilities and how far you can go. Many people have been through the same struggles as you and have succeeded in the long run.

Look at all the people ahead of you in your life, and see how they made it work. Study their lives and how they got to where they are today, and try to learn from them.

The idea of potential is excellent and applies to almost anything you do in life. You never know what you can do until you give it a shot. Successful people often keep a list of all the things they want to do before they turn a certain age, and they note all the things they are capable of achieving. You must take stock of what you can accomplish to improve your success rate. You need to think of some big dreams and goals and how you plan to make them come true.

This is important because once you’ve figured out what you can do and how you plan on accomplishing these things, then you’ll be able to make some informed decisions about how to go about reaching your potential.

You might want to think about the things you want to accomplish in life before you’re too old to do them and figure out how you’ll get there. Do you need a lot of training? Are you going to need to change careers to get to your goal?

These are all questions that you need to consider if you’re going to be able to achieve the things that you want to accomplish in life.

Double down On Your Expertise

Success is never about luck, and in fact, it’s usually about your hard work, determination, and mindset that allows you to succeed.

But if you don’t have the right mindset, it can hinder your chances of success. For example, you could be in the right place at the right time, but you’ll never be prepared if you’re not thinking about what will happen after that. That’s why you need to focus on your expertise and skills. You should also be looking forward to opportunities that will help you grow and develop in your chosen field.

Successful people have always realized this and have done well in life and business. They’ve had a plan and followed it, and that’s why they’ve been able to make a living doing what they love. If you want to become successful, you need to work on your own skills and learn how to improve your weaknesses to become an expert in your field.

Remove Your Weaknesses To Enhance Your Expertise

One thing that you’ll find when you start analyzing your personal life and how you’ve been living is that you’re not sure what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. You might even have specific areas of weakness in your life that you don’t even know you have. For instance, maybe you don’t have the best relationships, or perhaps you don’t have the best leadership skills.

Maybe you’re an overthinker or don’t care about much of anything. If this sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone.

Even though it might not be your strength, you need to address it. If you want to be a leader, you will need to be able to lead.

If you want to improve your relationships, you will need to learn how to have good conversations and listen to what other people say. You might need to know how to get along with other people and figure out ways to get along with them without being a jerk.

You might make bad decisions based on ignorance when you go through life. You should take time to analyze your situation and what you need to do to change that.

You need to stop trying to be someone you’re not and instead focus on being the kind of person you’d want to be around. It would be best to lead a positive life that will allow you to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

You do that by improving on the areas of your life that you’re not as good at. You’ll be surprised that it’s not as complicated as you think. You’ll have to identify what you’re not good at and then improve on it. When you do, you’ll be surprised that your expertise improves daily.

It’s like taking a test that you’re going to get regularly. As you practice, you’re going to get better at it, and you’re going to be able to accomplish things that you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise. You might even end up in situations where you need to ask for help or even pay others to do things for you. That’s not a weakness; that’s a part of growing and learning.

Self-awareness Is The Foundation Of Success

Self-awareness is essential to any entrepreneur or business owner, so you should start working on it now. If you want to create your own business, you should know that self-awareness is the key to success. You need to understand your strengths and weaknesses to make the most out of yourself, especially when it comes to your business.

Self-awareness is essential to entrepreneurship.

Without it, you won’t be able to see the mistakes you make and how to improve. This is especially true regarding relationships, finances, and marketing. Without self-awareness, you’ll waste money and time, not to mention alienate people you’re trying to build relationships with. It will also make it harder for you to improve your skills because you’ll never be able to accurately evaluate where you’re lacking.

A business reflects the people that run it, so it’s essential to be aware of the areas you need to improve. This will allow you to develop strategies to overcome weaknesses and maximize your strengths.

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The Cracked Acorn: Life




In John 14:6, Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but by me.”

I mention the situation of Terri Schiavo. This medical case appeared to be headed to the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court. After 15 years in a persistent vegetative state (PVS), is it time to answer the plea of her husband to take her off life support and end her life? Many were for it, and many were against it. Is it possible that she could have gained consciousness and her health? It is a question that my 2 1/3 lb. brain ponders.

Karen Ann Quinlan – she collapsed into a PVS in April 1975. When life support was removed, she lived in a coma for ten more years – 1985. Nancy Cruzan – a 1983 car accident left her as a PVS. In Cruzan vs. Missouri, life support was removed, and she died in January 1991. Hollywood tries to touch on these situations – see CHARLEY, SOLENT GREEN, and the Eastwood movie – MILLION DOLLAR BABY. How does one leave this life with dignity? Do you have the answer?

Adam was created from the dust of the earth (Genesis 2:7), and Eve from a rib. They ate the fruit in the Garden of Eden and were destined to live forever, but Satan intervened. Out of the garden, they were no longer eternally young. Cain kills Abel and death is on the scene for the first time. After that, we see that people of the Old Testament did live a long time, Methuselah the longest at 969 years. (Genesis 5:25) After every recorded name, their age is stated, and they die. The New Testament promises us threescore and ten, which could be longer.

We all hope that we will never have the “plug removed.” Cryogenics holds the hope that we can be frozen until a cure is found for what ails us. We are looking to the future. The military is researching a computer-driven robot that will map, then perform delicate and precise operations on wounded soldiers. The wounded can be completely healed and back on the battlefield within a few days. These discoveries will surely spill over into civilian life and add years to the population. Another possibility is that aging may eventually be slowed or stopped, all due to the unfolding mystery of cell research. Cells may soon be “triggered” to grow any part or organ of the body. Society lives with the false hope that our mortal bodies can achieve immortality here on earth. This will never happen. We will never return to the garden of Eden with the sin that holds us down. (Hebrews 12:1)

When Jesus said, “I have come, you may have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10). He was not talking about a home forever in this physical arena. Many today seek the Savior to return and reign here as King. While Jesus was here, He could have healed everyone that was sick and blind, and lame. He only did this for a few. He offered us something far better and more lasting than this body. God is a spirit, and we, His children, will have a new body. (Revelation 2:10)


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Republican senator breaks with GOP to oppose 15-week abortion bill in Virginia



Despite backers characterizing Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s proposal to largely ban abortions after 15 weeks in Virginia as “a consensus” position, a Senate panel Friday rejected it, with one Republican joining unanimous Democratic opposition.

“I wish I could vote for this bill,” said Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico, a practicing OB-GYN who proposed an amendment to the administration bill that would have allowed exceptions up to 24 weeks for fetuses with severe abnormalities. “But without that exception, I’m going to have to vote” against it.

The Friday morning votes on three bills that would have restricted to varying degrees Virginia’s current abortion laws were not binding: The Democrat-dominated Senate Health Professions Subcommittee only has the power to recommend legislative positions to the larger Health and Education Committee. But they signal little appetite among Democrats to brook any change to the state’s abortion laws, which allow the procedure through the first and second trimesters with few restrictions and permit it in the third if three doctors decide that continuing the pregnancy would pose a risk severe risk to the mother.

Dunnavant called that law “extreme,” arguing Virginia is out of step with laws across the U.S. and Europe as well as medical science on fetal age of viability. Under her Senate Bill 1483, abortion would remain legal up to “viability,” defined as 24 weeks or “at least 22” in the estimation of three doctors. Dunnavant’s bill would also require abortions to be performed only in hospitals, mirroring the current law on the second and third trimesters.

Abortion would also be allowed if the pregnancy was nonviable and going forward with it “would substantially and irremediably impair the physical health of the woman.”

From start to finish, 2023 will be a big year for abortion policy in Virginia

“The public opinion is in favor of not having an abortion in the third trimester,”  Dunnavant said.

The two other Republican bills up for consideration Friday would go further. Sen. Steve Newman’s Senate Bill 1385 — the bill being backed by the Youngkin administration — would prohibit abortion after 15 weeks unless the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest or would result in the death of the mother “or substantially and irreversibly impair” her “bodily functions,” not including “psychological or emotional conditions.”

“We think we have what’s a carefully crafted bill that also supports mothers,” said Newman, who called the proposal a “middle ground” that provides “common-sense protection for the unborn.”

Sen. Travis Hackworth’s Senate Bill 1284, which he described as “a life at conception bill,” offered the most restrictive option, banning all abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is at risk or prior to 20 weeks if an official police report has been filed alleging rape or incest occurred.

“When Roe v. Wade was overturned, I knew this was the bill I had to put in,” he said. Pointing to unanimous support last year for legislation to impose stricter regulations on a controversial beagle breeding facility in Cumberland County that has since been shut down, he told the Senate panel, “I hope we can be as passionate in saving the lives of the unborn children as we were for the beagles last year.”

Witnesses turned out to argue both for and against the three measures, with supporters focusing on fetal pain and opponents contending the proposals would interfere with the patient-doctor relationship.

Several women pointed to their own experiences as instructive. One woman who identified herself as Molly said she had considered abortion but was glad she decided to continue with the pregnancy.

“When I took my pregnancy test, I could never have imagined all the wonderful support I’ve gotten,” she said.

Jessica Gertz, a Richmond doctor, told the Senate panel she had undergone an abortion at 21 weeks after finding out her fetus had severe abnormalities that could have left it unable to breathe or without a heartbeat after delivery.

“Make no mistake, the bans proposed today are aimed at people exactly like me,” she said.

Lawmakers on the subcommittee had a little discussion on the three measures before voting 6-3 to recommend that Hackworth’s and Newman’s bills be rejected by the larger committee and 5-4 to recommend the rejection of Dunnavant’s.


by Sarah Vogelsong, Virginia Mercury

Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.

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10:00 am A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
May 28 @ 10:00 am – May 29 @ 11:00 am
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Explore the rich natural history of trees guided by a Virginia Master Naturalist. Discover the tips and tricks of basic tree identification and the tree-mendous roles that trees play in our environment.[...]
7:00 pm Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
May 29 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Memorial Day Community Band Concert @ Gazebo
Memorial Day Band Concert at Gazebo Plaza on Main Street, presented by Front Royal American Legion Community Band.
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
May 31 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
10:00 am Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Clean the Bay Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Boston Mill Road Trail near the Park Office. Learn how fences and tree plantings improve water quality at Sky Meadows State Park with a special Explorer Outpost. Stop by our station along Boston Mill Road[...]
10:00 am National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 10:00 am – Jun 4 @ 1:00 pm
National Trails Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Picnic Area. Join park trailblazers and get your hands dirty as we work to enhance the trail surface on Hadow Trail. All ages are welcome and no experience is required. Round trip hike to the[...]
12:00 pm Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Settle’s Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Settle's Kettle @ Sky Meadows State Park
Log Cabin in the Historic Area. Follow your nose to the Log Cabin to see what is cooking on the hearth. Immerse yourself within the 19th century enslaved culture and its foods. Explore the taste[...]
12:00 pm The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work showing off their skills. Members of The Blacksmiths’ Guild of the Potomac have set up shop in the forge, located behind[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Jun 3 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
1:00 pm Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 3 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet the Beekeepers @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. What’s that buzzing? Meet with local apiarists of Beekeepers of the Northern Shenandoah (BONS – online at and discover the art of Apiculture (a.k.a. Beekeeping). This monthly program[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jun 7 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]