The strength of our communities is dependent on the strength of our families, and the individuals that comprise them. While government cannot directly affect the heart and will of the individual, it can and does set a standard for what is or is not acceptable behavior. Nothing is more important in determining these standards than the value we place on human life.
I believe that life is sacred, must be protected and begins at conception. We do not tolerate the taking of life for superfluous reasons. Where minors are involved in a decision to take the life of an unborn child, parents or guardians need to be involved and give counsel. Accordingly, I would oppose any measure that would reverse the gains made regarding parental notification in such cases. A parent’s right to direct the upbringing and education of their children is fundamental and we seek to hold them accountable. No other invasive medical procedure is allowed for minors without parental notification, not even ear piercing.
The parental right in theses cases should only be bypassed or interrupted when necessary to protect a child from abuse. In such a case the parent has already violated their responsibility and cannot be trusted to act as a responsible parent.
I strongly supported the marriage amendment to the Virginia Constitution. I chaired the committee through which the matter had to pass numerous times and personally negotiated the final language of the amendment. I truly believe that marriage, properly defined, can only exist between one man and one woman.