Bishop Burbidge Responds to Virginia Abortion Legislation and Ways You Can Contact Your Elected Officials

Bishop Burbidge's Response

Since the beginning of the Virginia General Assembly session on January 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 of good will, distraught that this 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, Governor 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—and the bill that was defeated this week—reflects a new level of deep-rooted animus against the inherent goodness of every child. The governor’s statement and this bill demonstrate how far abortion advocates are willing to go in taking the life of a precious child.

This is a critical moment in the life of our Church and our society. I call on the faithful and people of good will to 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:

Contact Your Elected Officials and Tell Them to Defend the Unborn

This a link to the actual bill language that was put forth by VA House Delegate Tran (D-Springfield). While some have reported that the bill was defeated, the subcommittee actually voted to “table” the bill – which is to postpone further debate on the legislation:

More information on this from the Virginia Catholic Conference can be found here. 

Contact your elected state officials: There is more than one delegate representing the various neighborhoods within the Basilica’s parish boundaries so individuals will have to type in their address to find out who their representative is. They should contact their State Delegate as well as their State Senator: You can conveniently email your state representatives directly from this website.

Contact Governor Northam: — Governor Northam (D), a pediatric neurologist, publicly defended the Tran bill and offered the following response when asked to explain what Tran meant when she said the bill would allow women to abort their children even as their body is dilating and preparing to deliver: “If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen,” he said. “The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

He also deserves to hear from us. He can be contacted by linking to the following website:


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