Last week, Democrats gutted years of Republican-backed safeguards for women related to abortion. The legislation rolls back long-standing laws designed to protect women seeking abortions and ensure that they have the knowledge and resources they need to make an informed decision before making an irreversible choice. Among the safeguards removed were:

• Safety standards designed to protect women in the event something goes wrong.

• Standards that required a trained physician to perform an abortion, not a physicians assistant or other worker with less training.

• A 24 hour waiting period to ensure that women understand the procedure.

• Significant portions of the informed consent law were removed, which ensured women had all relevant information about abortion.

During the floor session, Republicans offered substantive amendments to the legislation. The amendments were two-fold:

• One would ensure that no abortion provider in Virginia could profit from the trade in fetal tissues or body parts obtained through abortion.

• The other amendment would require any infant born alive during an attempted abortion receive immediate lifesaving care.

Democrats responded by ruling the amendments “not germane,” or unrelated to the bill, rather than vote on them. Speaker Filler-Corn then declined to explain her ruling. There’s a distinct pattern developing: Democrats will do whatever they must to avoid debating though issues.

For years, Democrats have said abortion should be between a woman and her doctor. Now, it’s between a woman, her nurse, a nurses aide, etc…

Some Democrats are also supporting legislation to make suicide legal and specifically to legalize assisted suicide. The bill to legalize suicide appears to be moving forward, while the assisted suicide legislation is stalled in committee for now. I oppose both bills because they devalue life and are the first steps toward euthanasia.

Assisted suicide undermines the doctor patient relationship, endangers vulnerable people such as those experiencing mental health issues or crisis, the disabled, and elderly. It further empowers insurance companies to make life and death decisions (paying for “suicide” is cheaper than paying for treatment).

The legislation also prohibits the Virginia Board of Medicine from disclosing information regarding assisted suicides. This begs the question, what are they wanting to hide?

Other countries that adopted assisted suicide have gone down the slippery slope to euthanasia. The practice has expanded to newborns, children, the mentally ill, and those suffering from dementia. In these cases, the decision to commit “suicide” is made by others.

As long as I serve in the legislature, I will continue to stand for life.