Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Supreme Court justices who during their confirmation hearings swore that laws related to abortion were settled voted to overturn precedent of a half century to reopen the issue for states to resolve. Already there have been numerous states meddling in the most difficult decision a woman will ever have to make related to her reproductive health. One-size-fits-all kinds of solutions that range from women having to report miscarriages to government authorities to outright bans on abortion and in some instances with life-begins-at-conception notions of banning contraception. It is likely that the Virginia General Assembly will see some form of all these extremes introduced next year. The circumstances leading to the decision about an abortion are as numerous and as complex as one can imagine. The government should be involved in the process only to the degree of ensuring that women have a right to make a decision without government or others meddling.
Governor Youngkin’s administration has taken legislation passed by the General Assembly to ensure the rights of transgender students and twisted it to have the government meddle in the personal lives of transgender students and their families to the detriment of these individuals’ lives. A model policy that was to protect transgender students has been turned into a policy that drastically restricts their rights. The policy would restrict students to accessing programs and facilities according to the sex they were assigned at birth. It would require legal documentation to change a student’s name and would allow teachers to refuse to refer to a student by preferred name or pronoun if it is against the teacher’s personal religious beliefs, citing their protection by the First Amendment and the right to free speech. Larger school systems like Fairfax are likely to ignore this proposed meddling, but if adopted it could lead to major discrimination against transgender students across the state and to numerous lawsuits.
Attorney General Miyares has appointed a twenty-person task force to look into election fraud in Virginia even though there have been no documented cases of voter fraud in the state. This meddling into a system that works incredibly well comes about as there is a concerted effort nationally to undercut confidence in voting as part of the “Big Lie” from the last presidential election. My observation has been that those who express the most concern about voting fraud are the same people who seek to limit the right to vote to their voters. Virginia has had a horrible record on restricting voting rights but now has some of the best voting laws in the country. Mr. Miyares may not like the outcome of some of those elections, but there is no need for his meddling.