Letter to the Editor: Kudos to governor for vetoing bill

Editor:

I and my fellow humanists would like to thank Governor McAuliffe for vetoing House Bill 1090.

Currently, Virginia allows public funding to go to clinics that provide necessary health care, including reproductive health care for Virginia women. HB1090 would have eliminated that funding, instead sending money to community health centers that do not provide abortion services, which would effectively eliminate access to abortion services for many women across the commonwealth. This is immoral and unjust.

A majority of Americans, including Catholics, want health care decisions to be made by patients according to their own conscience with the advice of family and medical professionals — not by legislators, most of whom are male and who are oblivious to the circumstances at stake.

The battle over abortion rights centers around the issue of when human life begins. Modern science shows that this is not possible until the fetal brain is sufficiently wired to permit consciousness, which occurs after 28 to32 weeks of gestation. About 90 percent of abortions are performed by the 13th week and over 90 percent by the 20th week. Only a small percentage occurs after “viability” at 23 and 24 weeks and only as a result of serious problems, such as a threat to human life and severe fetal abnormalities. This point was made in an amicus curie brief to the Supreme Court in the 1988 case of Webster v. Reproductive health services, signed by 165 distinguished scientists, including 12 Nobel laureates.

Finally, one last point, the vast majority of abortions are due to unwanted pregnancies. We can dramatically reduce the abortion rate in this country by making contraceptives available and affordable to all child-bearing women who have the right to determine how many children – if any – they want to have.

Gene Rigelon, Front Royal

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