Challenge to Virginia Pro-Life Laws DECIDED: Good & Bad News

Released: Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Thank you for your prayers for God’s grace in this weighty assault on Virginia’s pro-life laws: Falls Church Medical v. Oliver. On September 30, Senior U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson handed down his lengthy and complex decision on the remaining legal motions of eight original motions challenging Virginia’s pro-life statutes filed in the summer of 2018.

Last week’s opinion affirms certain protections for unborn children and their mothers, such as informed consent, ultrasound, and physician-only requirements and strikes others, including safety requirements for abortion facilities. 

Judge Hudson reiterated “states’ rights to safeguard” the “health and welfare of women” and “respect for potential life.” Based on those rights, the court found “surgical abortion procedures during the second trimester should [only] be performed in a hospital setting.” He also stated, “The record evidence clearly justifies limiting second trimester abortion procedures to physicians only.”

Yet sadly he struck down the requirement that a facility must meet the same standards as “a general hospital or outpatient surgical hospital” for abortionists to commit first-trimester abortions and “pre-viability, non-surgical” second-trimester abortions. 

In another win, however, Judge Hudson decided the abortionists suing the state “failed to demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that the requirements . . . requiring a mandatory ultrasound and waiting period, amount to a substantial obstacle preventing a woman's access to abortion care in Virginia. Plaintiffs have further failed to show that the statute's informed consent requirement imposes an undue burden.”

Given that various officers of the Commonwealth of Virginia are the defendants, Governor Ralph Northam endorsed infanticide in the midst of a legislative debate this year, and Attorney General Mark Herring appointed a third party to defend the state in the first stage of the case. The future of the appeals process is unclear and still unfolding.

The group of abortion perpetrators trying to unravel Virginia’s pro-life laws in the court includes Falls Church Medical Center, Whole Woman's Health Alliance, Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, and “Dr. Jane Doe.”

We will keep you updated, especially as the General Assembly weighs in on the legal process. In the meantime, please pray for our commonwealth as this decision and others from different states wind their way through the federal court system.

Please also pray for the staff who work for the abortionists. We’ve all seen hearts changed—even in the worst circumstances. I thank God for His grace in the lives of Norma McCorvey (“Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade), who became a believer and spent her energy fighting for life, and former clinic director Abby Johnson, about whom the movie “Unplanned” was based.

Thank you for your commitment to the truths of God’s Word as we fight for protections for children and their mothers in our Commonwealth.