Oct 27, 2009

To the Desk: Checking my choices

by Samuel Bernhardt

With the elections coming up, I’ve decided to use my ability to vote in Lynchburg for local elections. My vote probably won’t have much effect on the statewide races, but it very well could have a big impact on the local state delegate race between Shannon Valentine and Dr. Scott Garrett.

It’s one thing to disagree with somebody, but it’s another to flat out lie and misrepresent yourself, and this is what Valentine has done, and why I will be voting against her as a matter of conscience and principle.

Valentine represents herself as pro-life, but that is far from the truth. In fact, she earned a 50 percent approval rating from the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (naralva.org) on her 2009 house votes. This includes refusing to narrow the scope of permitted state funding of abortions (HB 1600, Amendment 4-5.04#1h) as well as refusing to prohibit the use of tax dollars to fund Planned Parenthood (HB 1600, Amendment 4-5.04#2). She also opposed increased standards of staffing, equipment and procedures at abortion clinics (HB 1600, Amendment 301 #2h).

Valentine also voted against HB2797, which affirmed the constitutional right to life of both born and unborn persons. Thanks in part to her refusal to acknowledge the most basic (not to mention biblical) tenet of the sanctity of life, this measure failed. How anyone can claim to be pro-life yet not support the idea that life begins at conception is beyond me. She claims to be endorsed by Democrats for Life, but that probably has more to do with her being a Democrat than actually being pro-life.

It’s one thing to support the killing of innocent life. It’s another thing entirely to lie about it and try to gain the support of voters who are against abortion, so that you can then support more anti-life activity with voters’ unknowing consent. That crosses the line to downright despicable.

Garrett not only knows that life begins at conception, but is proudly—and legitimately—pro-life. Further, (as if it were necessary) he hasn’t lied about his stance on the issue. I know that when I vote for Garrett on election day, I’m casting my vote to protect the unborn—not just from those that would hurt them, but also from politicians who will say one thing and then do another.

Samuel Bernhardt
Liberty ’10

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