January 29, 2020
Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington and Bishop Barry C. Knestout of the Diocese of Richmond issued the following statement on the passage of companion abortion bills yesterday and today by the Virginia House of Delegates (HB 980) and the Virginia Senate (SB 733) respectively:
We ask all Catholics to step into the public square and to be witnesses of the Gospel on which our faith is founded. Because we believe that all life is a sacred gift from God, it is imperative for all people of faith to continue to speak and act on behalf of the unborn, especially those who will die if this legislation is enacted.
We are saddened and deeply disappointed that a majority of Virginia’s elected leaders have chosen to pass bills that strip Virginia law of many longstanding provisions that protect unborn children and the health and safety of women. A just society respects life from the moment of conception until natural death, and we continue to call upon the Virginia General Assembly to reject any legislation that increases abortion access.
Let us pray that members of the General Assembly will be guided by the love of God in opposing legislation that will result in the death of innocent human life. At the same time, we ask for all to pray for the mothers of these children that they will give them life and that we will support them in their needs.
As the Senate now takes up consideration of HB 980 and the House takes up consideration of SB 733, the Virginia Catholic Conference urges pro-life Virginians to continue to voice their strong opposition to these bills. Voices of truth must be heard by our elected officials. This year’s Virginia March for Life is extraordinarily important, and we urge people throughout both the Arlington and Richmond Catholic Dioceses to join us on February 13 to show that Virginians are pro-life and expect their legislators to vote that way.