Principles > Positions
Letter to an Independent
September 10, 2011
I am a resident of District 30 and have been studying your website for the past several minutes.
Could you please take a moment to clarify your position on reproductive rights, stem-cell research, and same-sex marriage?
I believe in supporting human life at all stages, including opposing the death penalty. I do not believe we should allow medical professionals to separate women from their children and their money for purposes of sex selection, genetic DNA testing, organ harvesting, or convenience. If a doctor is faced with a choice between one dead patient and two dead patients, I'm in favor of making sure he has the option of choosing one.
Few discussions of abortion are complete without a look at the money involved. As we learned earlier this year, if you work out the averages, the nation's largest abortion provider does three things every 95 seconds all year long: (1) commits an abortion, (2) receives $1,000 of government money, and (3) just made $300 to $3,000 on the procedure itself, depending on how far along the pregnancy was. It's time to lift the veil and see what the issue really is. Some have entered the abortion industry because it was the fastest path they could find to being a millionaire. For an organization that takes in a million dollars a day in government money, there is a glaring conflict of interest on this question.
As for stem-cell research, it's always important, first, to clarify the difference between "stem cell research" and "embryonic stem cell research." As a whole, any science that respects human life can be a good thing. I'm a fan of science, and rocket science in particular. We've seen positive results repeatedly in the adult stem cell research field. "Adult" is a reference to the type of cell, and not to be confused with the source from which those cells are taken. Even a fetus has adult stem cells.
The money question applies in this arena as well--by an increased order of magnitude. Many scientists have made enormous claims about the "tremendous promise" held in this area of research. What has infrequently been talked about is how much money they stand to gain for being the one to crack the code of humanity's basic genetic essence. To say nothing of the notoriety that would follow, here we're literally talking about billions of dollars worldwide involved in the research, patents, and return on investment for the person or team that can give mankind a set of controls over the genetic direction of humanity. Further, the more they can get elected leaders and candidates to make promises and direct millions in funding to their program of nothing but claims, the more we should realize the essence of what the "tremendous promise" really is--their own financial gain.
I would be in favor of not only not funding research antithetical to human life, but I would be in favor of not allowing research that costs the lives of the tiniest humans altogether. It's a distraction, and is even more distracting when held up as the answer to every disease and malady when, in reality, it has not produced a single result. It's actually proved to be quite harmful: hair and bone have shown up in the brains of dead mice where they put those embryonic stem cells. It would be better to find a way to work on finding a way to use nanotechnology to tag and track stem cells and see where they go and what they do, than to send them off on random expeditions into uncharted territory to watch what happens. That's the nature of where the "science" has been recently. Until we can come up with a better and more ethical way of understanding the nature of these cells, I think our efforts are better spent on getting results from what we understand already, and I think these steps described here would put Virginia in a better position to focus on real, productive, lasting results.
As for same-sex marriage, I think the people of Virginia spoke clearly in 2006 and I'm not interested in revisiting it, nor breaking ground in new legal territory for exploring alternatives.
Also, I read somewhere that you are against the funding of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization. Is this true?
I do not support coercive abortion, involuntary sterilization, nor the funding for either. I'm curious as to where you read that because while I've talked about sterilization, it was in a context near the other end of the voluntary participation spectrum.
I've raised the issue of the current federal administration handing down orders on August 1, 2011, with an absurdly narrow exemption, that every single health care insurance plan must provide sterilization for women and unlimited contraception and birth control. The only exemption is for religious organizations that do not do any community service and only work to make converts. Most houses of worship don't meet that exemption by even non-religious people's standards. In an insurance system, everyone pays for everything, so now we would all be required to pay for sterilization and birth control for any woman that wants it. These regulations go into full force on August 1, 2012 and could cost upwards of $3 billion. I intend to continue to speak out to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. This goes way beyond sending comments to a federal agency.
What do you think should be done in cases of rape or incest?
I think criminals should be brought to justice and held accountable for their actions, and the woman should carry the baby to term and raise the child. For women who allow it, raising the child--that didn't do anything wrong--can actually be a source of healing for her from that sin that was committed against her.
Additional note: At a candidate forum October 2011, the other candidate accurately pointed out this letter, as originally posted on my campaign Facebook Page, said I thought "the woman should carry the baby to term and raise the child."
In my response then, I stood by my statement and added that as someone who is half-adopted, I would obviously support adoption as an option as well.
This speaks to a larger issue I have learned about since getting out on the campaign trial this summer: the need for child support reform. I've been amazed at the number of women who are stuck paying child support, sometimes twice (once to the state, once to a delinquent parent)! And not only does the system not cross-reference cases together between the child support, child custody and child visitation tracks, the Code of Virginia leaves out any options for justice in correcting problems found later in how things were handled. There are no provisions for retroactively reversing a court order that was in effect before she files a motion correcting injustices. This has trapped many women behind bills for arrears and interest in the thousands and tens of thousands of dollars. We literally have single moms being forced for years to pay for injustice the system is committing against them, and this needs to be corrected.
And finally, a question about justice. According to your essay [essay] on naturalization, one way to achieve justice is to "Start those not paying in on paying something in." From this, I get the impression that you are in favor of amnesty. Is this a fair assessment of your position?
"Amnesty" is often a term thrown out to put someone on the defensive. I looked up the term and it basically means forgiveness en masse. I haven't seen any proposals that meet that description. Even the most generous of proposals have required a substantial fine of those who have not complied with our current laws for immigration. I've talked to Latinos, and they agree it's important to learn English. Some of their more senior members have correctly noted that [it] is difficult when you have many years behind you to learn a new language. While English is not an Asian or tonal language, it is not exactly on the easy end of the language learning-difficulty spectrum either. That's no reason to keep families separated.
Among the more conservative proposals for the current situation is one that still requires them to go to their home country and come back to make a proper entrance to our borders. I do not see the need to make them go home and tag base before they get to come and stay. In fact, I think our current system encourages that kind of tagging base now: all they have to do now is commit a crime bad enough to trigger deportation and they have an expenses-paid trip home for Christmas. After they're done visiting family back home, they just come back after the holiday season. They think our country is great. Our country is great, and I think part of that greatness means living up to our promises to those who have embraced our ideals of freedom. I believe we can both welcome those who embrace freedom and reduce the temptation to abuse the justice we attempt to provide in this free country.
I know that you are probably very busy, but I'd certainly like to have a better understanding of your political views. I hope it's not too much trouble.
Thank you in advance.
Thank you for taking the time to read and to ask.
Principles > Positions