~ originally printed in the Liberty Champion on October 28, 2009 ~
Recently, the news media has avoided covering the issue of abortion, content instead to focus on more trivial topics, like balloon boy and how Jon and Kate plus Eight are learning how to subtract. What used to be tabloid fodder is now being used as front page “breaking news,” while more relevant topics are pushed to the side. One of the exceptions to this negligence is when a local, state or federal election rolls around, bringing issues like abortion into the light.
One of the most prominent organizations on the pro-choice front, Planned Parenthood (PP), receives 34 percent of its funding from government grants and contracts, according to the National Right to Life. In reference to local politics, Delegate Shannon Valentine voted against stripping the use of state funds for PP in a 2009 amendment (2009 HB 1600, Amendment 4-5.04 #2h). In an interview with the Liberty Champion (see A3), Valentine said, “I strongly support adoption, criminalizing harm to a fetus and protecting pregnant women from coercion of any kind that would lead to an abortion.” The national group Democrats for Life has also endorsed her. However, these pieces of information do not match up. Why would a delegate claim pro-life values and vote to fund a pro-choice organization at the same time?
While PP does list adoption as one of the services they provide for an unplanned pregnancy, it requires some searching on its Web site to even find an article that talks about adoption. However, the first link in the dropdown box “Centers and Services” was entitled “Abortion Services and Abortion Referrals.” Again, if a delegate claims to support adoption and opposes harm to unborn babies, why would she advocate giving money to an organization who only supports one of her two criteria?
If Valentine wants to follow through on her claim that she supports life by supporting adoption, my suggestion would be to support an organization that champions adoption as the only option for pregnant women who are not ready to take care of a child. The Liberty Godparent Home (LGH) and Blue Ridge Pregnancy Center (BRPC) are two local, nonprofit organizations that support life without draining the coffers of state funds. If more attention was directed from a state level to the work that LGH and BRPC are doing, more adoptions would be able to take place, and fewer abortions of unborn lives would be funded.