September 15, 2021
  • Commentary: Whose Choice?
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Whose Choice?
Recently the almost totally male and white members of the Texas legislature passed a law that would effectively end abortions in that state. The decision to end a pregnancy has been taken from the woman who is pregnant and made instead by a group of older men who with no knowledge of the circumstances or reasons decide for the woman in advance. A woman in Texas who is carrying a fetus with major fetal abnormalities or who had been raped by a stranger or family member would have her fate decided by a legislature who has no knowledge of the necessity or reasons that an abortion might appropriately need to be performed.

The Texas law provides that persons who assist anyone in getting an abortion after just six weeks can be sued by a neighbor, distant relative, abusive partner, or even a stranger and collect $10,000 for each successful claim. It puts enforcement of the law in the hands of vigilante bounty hunters. With the Supreme Court upholding the law we can expect such laws to be introduced in other states including Virginia depending on the outcome of elections in November. A case from Mississippi is now before the Supreme Court, and it could lead to the decision in Roe v Wade being over-turned!

Most telling in the debates over the right to end an unintended pregnancy is the lack of any understanding or compassion for the woman facing such a complex and crushing decision. Up until the changes in Virginia law last year there were a number of roadblocks and barriers intended to make it as difficult as possible for a woman to access counseling and medical advice about an unintended pregnancy or one that is medically unadvisable. The laws that have been passed over the years have treated all situations as being equal when the facts are that the circumstances are very complex and personal.

Distressing to me in the debates in which I have participated in the Virginia legislature and that I have read about in other states, is that there seems to be little or no compassion or concern about the child who is born. First, there needs to be sex education programs that reduce the number of unintended pregnancies. There needs to be greatly expanded childcare and nutrition programs for the children once they are born.

Polling in Virginia has found that 82% of those in the polling sample feel that decisions about pregnancy should be made by the woman with the support of those she loves and trusts. The poll found that 79% of Virginians believe that abortion should be legal and that the government should not prevent a woman from making that decision for herself. The decision as to which way Virginia goes on this issue is of utmost importance by the voters in the current election for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and House of Delegates members. I trust the election outcome will make it clear that it should be the woman who makes the choice! 

COVID-19 Vaccines: How Did We Get Them So Fast?


There's Still a Chance to Join a Reston Association Listening Session!
These meetings will allow the Board to engage with each district and listen to the concerns, comments, and suggestions members have for RA. Use the Zoom information below to join. 
Schedule a Clothing Donation for the Purple Heart Service Foundation
GreenDrop will pick up your clothing and household items for FREE and turn them into donations for the Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation.

Or call 888-944-3767 for more information.
2021 Reston Multicultural Festival Performers and Activities Announced
The 2021 Reston Multicultural Festival will be held at Lake Anne Plaza from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 25. Attendees should note the universal mask requirement for indoor aspects of the Festival schedule. The World StageGlobal Stage and the Gallery Stage will feature free, all-day entertainment schedules, showcasing traditions and cultures from Vietnam, China, India, the Caribbean and many more. Learn more.
Stay Current on Redistricting in Virginia
The Virginia Public Access Project offers information in graphic format explaining and summarizing the process of redistricting that is happening in Virginia.

The Virginia Redistricting Commission, a constitutionally created body approved by the voters of Virginia in 2020, will draw Virginia's congressional and state legislative districts in 2021. Members of the public are invited to attend Commission meetings in person in order to provide comments to the Commission live during the meeting. View or download Public Participation Guidelines.

Schedule of Commission Meetings:
  • September 26: 1:00 p.m.
  • September 27: 1:00 p.m.
  • September 29: 8:00 a.m.
  • October 4: 8:00 a.m.
  • October 11: 8:00 a.m.

See How Your Locality Has Changed Since The Last Census
How has your community changed in the last decade? Whether you are a new resident of Virginia or have lived here your whole life, the Census provides important information about how your neighborhood, locality, and state have changed over time.
Wednesday, September 15, 6:30 p.m., ActiveFairfax Transportation Plan Public Information Meeting (virtual). Registration required. The plan will establish a vision and a roadmap for implementation of safe, convenient, and enjoyable streets and trails in Fairfax County. Learn more here.

Friday, September 17, In-Person Early Voting begins. Information on registration, candidates on the ballot and more is at Election.

Friday, September 17, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Chillin' on Church, at the Vienna Town Green and Church Street. Featuring live music from the Deja Gruv Band, beer and wine for sale, food trucks and more. Learn more.

Saturday, September 18, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m., Protecting the Vote, at Sherwood Regional Library. Voting matters! Join this panel discussion to learn more about voting issues in Virginia and throughout the country. Co-sponsored with AAUW Mt. Vernon and AAUW Alexandria branches. More information.

Sunday, September 19, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., Annual Plum Family Picnic, at North Hills Picnic Pavilion,1325 North Village Road, Reston. RSVP here.

Wednesday, September 22, 10:00 a.m., Senior Movie Day, Reston Town Center’s Bow Tie Cinemas. The Reston Association, in cooperation with Reston Town Center Bow Tie Cinemas, and sponsored by Hunter’s Woods at Trails Edge, are happy to be bringing back this successful event on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Refreshments are provided, and door prizes are distributed prior to the movie. Featuring: Queen Bees. Ages: 55+. FREE. Learn more here or contact Watch a quick video announcement here.

Thursday, September 23, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Virginia Behavioral Health Summit (Virtual). “Coming Out of Isolation: Our Next Normal,” will take a holistic approach to the challenges and opportunities within behavioral health care. Learn more here. Free. Register here.

Saturday, September 25, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Reston Multicultural Festival, at Lake Anne Plaza. Free • All Ages • Rain or Shine. The annual Reston Multicultural Festival celebrates Reston’s rich diversity through song, dance, food and art. More is at Reston Multicultural Festival 2021.

Saturday, September 25, 1:00 p.m., Plastic Free Forum 2021, virtual panel discussion about single-use plastic consumption, its contributions to climate change, and solutions to the plastic problem. Our panelists will tackle the issue from different perspectives: consumer, activist, business, and legislative, and we’ll allow ample opportunity for Q&A. Register here.

Wednesday, September 29, 6:30 p.m., 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension Project Virtual Public Information Meeting. This important project is advancing to the design and construction phase following more than three years of environmental study and traffic analysis. Detail are at 495NEXT.