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General Assembly rolls back abortion regulations

We’ve completed the fourth week of the 2020 Session, and I’d like to take a moment to share with you the latest news from Richmond.

Tuesday, the General Assembly voted to remove long-standing protections for women seeking a first-trimester abortion.

The Democrats began the process of rolling back longstanding laws designed to protect women and ensure an informed decision is being made about abortion. They removed safeguards that would allow a 24-hour waiting period to ensure the woman understands the procedure, safety standards designed to protect women in the event something goes wrong, and standards that required a trained physician to perform an abortion, not others with less training.

Republicans offered amendments that would ensure two important protections. First, to forbid abortion providers from selling fetal tissue for profit, and second, to ensure that infants born alive after an attempted abortion receive immediate medical care. Democrats rejected both amendments.

The Second Amendment has continued to be a major topic of discussion as Democrats rammed a number of gun-control bills through the House of Delegates with barely an hour of debate on the floor. During that hour, members pushing for gun control repeatedly gave incorrect information about current gun laws and even about their own bills, demonstrating how little they truly understand about the legislation they intend to pass.

Democrats repeatedly said their “red flag” laws would allow only someone on the level of a judge to issue warrants to seize firearms. In reality, it would allow magistrates – who aren’t required to have a law degree – to issue those warrants. Other Democrats said that a bill that would keep guns away from children would only apply to guns left “recklessly.” In fact, the bill criminalizes allowing a 17-year-old to go hunting without a parent.

Other bills passed would create a patchwork of local laws on firearms, making it possible for someone to commit a felony simply by driving from their home to another locality with a firearm in their car. One bill, HB 961, that would define many “ordinary” firearms as semi-automatic has not yet been heard. If it were to pass, many gun owners would be shocked to discover some of their guns have become illegal. Simply said, these are bad bills. I hope that the Senate or Governor take steps to correct this overreach by House Democrats.

The Second Amendment does not grant us the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment denies the government the authority to infringe upon our right to bear arms. Despite all this legislation that goes against the commonsense principals of those I represent, I will continue to fight for the ideals you elected me to uphold.

Del. Tommy Wright can be reached via email at DelTWright@house.virginia.gov or (804) 698-1061.