Parental rights on the ballot in Virginia

Glenn Youngkin won the governorship of Virginia against Democrat gubernatorial retread Terry McAuliffe in large part because of the parental rights movement and McAuliffe’s contempt for it, backing up elitist school boards in Fairfax and Loudon counties that went whole hog for gender ideology while excluding parents from discussion or even knowledge of their child’s in-school “identity.” 

Since he has been in office, Youngkin has promulgated model school policies that prohibit local school boards from concealing these issues from parents or using names for children in schools other than the child’s legal names.  A number of school boards have flat-out said they will ignore those instructions. 

On top of their immersion in gender ideology, those school boards have also adopted “diversity” norms that resulted, for example, in a leading science high school failing to notify its Merit Scholarship winners of their awards in a timely manner because the demographic skew of recipients did not match preferred outcomes.  Parents rights should, therefore, remain a salient issue in Virginia.

But, with just a few seats away from flipping either house, Democrats are ignoring parent’s rights and instead focused on abortion, which they hope to preview as a wedge issue for 2024. 

In the current session, prolife legislation passed the House to die in the Senate, while proabortion legislation went through the Senate to die in the House.  As in Washington, Virginia Senate Democrats played games with the state budget to try to force abortion funding into it.  Youngkin -- unlike New Jersey’s Phil Murphy -- was not going to hand Planned Parenthood a blank check.

Because of the partisan divide, Virginia remains the one southern state with the least prolife protective legislation in place.  Democrats want to keep it that way.  They had hoped in the current session to adopt an amendment to the State Constitution ensconcing abortion-on-demand (as is being voted on in Ohio), but could not pass the lower chamber.  In Virginia, amendments must pass two consecutive legislatures (with an intervening election) and then go to the voters.

Virginia Democrats want to take over the legislature in 2023 to pass such an amendment, then assume the governorship in 2025, reenact the amendment, and send it to the voters.

This should also be a parent’s rights measure.

Under Roe, parents were excluded from consenting to or even sometimes being notified of a minor child’s abortion.  Roe jurisprudence always required a “judicial bypass” -- a way for a “mature” minor (if she was “mature,” would she be pregnant?) to bypass her parents and get a judge to sign off on an abortion. 

With the happy demise of Roe, it is surprising that right-to-life is not forcing more vehement discussions of parental rights in the abortion area.  Joining this issue to the parental rights in schools issue should be a potent vehicle to derail the sexual agendas of the extreme Left and its attempts to groom children into its tenets. 

After all, as a Virginia parent, I remember clearly just two months ago signing reams of papers as to what medical things my local high school could do if my child needed medical attention in school.  The school would not dare give the child an aspirin for a headache without parental consent.  Parents have to file consent for regularly administered prescription drugs and deposit them with the school nurse.  Parents must provide consent for treatment, e.g., concussions connected with sports, except in the most life-threatening emergency situations.

Should a Virginia school be allowed to give your daughter an abortion but not an aspirin?  Deliver her to a clinic for dilation and curettage but get your permission for a clinical concussion visit?

Virginia Democrats would love to avoid addressing these issues, just as they would love to avoid discussing their candidate who has been making money with videos of her sex-scapades with her husband online.  They would love for you to forget about the sexual assault against a girl in a Loudoun County high school by a boy using the girl’s bathroom, a girl whose father was arrested at the direction of the Loudoun school board for protesting.  They hope appealing to “reproductive choice” will sweep all the rest of that under the rug.

Parents, prolife voters, and all Virginia voters who seek responsible politics instead of sophistry, need to make sure that does not happen. 


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