Even though our Lobby Day participants encountered snowy travels and more than a hundred angry women’s reproductive rights activists, the small but faithful group of Virginia Chapter members had a profound impact and were given many unique opportunities. The Lobby Day focused on four bills assigned to the Senate Education/Health Committee; these bills included HB1 (providing for a civil suit for the wrongful death of an unborn child), HB 462 (the media misrepresented, ultrasound bill allowing for more information to be presented to consent for an abortion), HB 947 (“Tebow Bill” allowing Homeschoolers to be allowed the opportunity to participate in interscholastic programs), and HB 1112 (removing the mandate for the HPV vaccination). While presenting our concerns for these four pieces of legislation, the offices of our Commonwealth representatives were encouraged by the attitude we presented and the gratitude we expressed to them. Strong, positive relationships are being built. During the course of the Richmond visit, the ladies gathered to present Delegate Putney with a token of appreciation for his service of fifty years to the Commonwealth. Del. Putney, who is a member of leadership in the House, took time out of his very busy schedule to reschedule our meeting (which we had had to cancel previously due to weather). Del. Putney spoke with us for a considerable amount of time. One sentiment expressed by his and almost every office visited that day was the appreciation and importance of hearing from conservatives on the issues. While it is obvious that the more conservative-minded constituents supported the representatives enough to come out to vote them into office, it is the opposition that is both more vocal and more active while they are in session.
Since the Virginia leadership faces much opposition not only in Richmond media but now nationwide, it is more important than ever to remember to encourage and thank the representatives for their service and steadfast perseverance on our issues. Because of the character of CWA’s members, our positive reputation and our perseverance to stand for righteous causes, our ladies had no trouble meeting with legislative aides and even the senators and delegates themselves. One delegate even requested to meet his encourager from CWA’s Encourage-A-Legislator program; his encourager was participating in the Lobby Day so they had a chance to meet. Some of the representatives who personally saw our ladies included: Sens. Newman and Smith and Delegates Putney, Garrett, Byron and O’Quinn among others. We must remember that we too are called for such a time as this. For our government will only remain, “a republic, if [we] can keep it.” Benjamin Franklin