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Maura, thank you for mobilizing all of us round the country!


Love from Mom and Daughter,
Grace and Molly


Thank you so much for all of your hard work on this crucial issue. Virginia -- and the rest of us -- are lucky to have you.

Max Bell

Indeed: nice work. There is now a permanent, red "alert" tag associated with the name "Cosgrove" I don't think is going to go down the memory hole any time soon.


i'm not a resident of VA [TX native]... actually i'm currently living on an air force base in Japan but i came across your story and just felt compelled to read further... thank you for all your hard work on the issue. :)


Thank you for bringing this to our attention, its great to think that hundreds of people all accross the world acted, maybe he will think twice before doing something as stupid again, but then again, maybe not!

Maura (in CA)

Maura - Absolutely amazing results from an absolutely amazing woman who wouldn't rest until this was put to rest. You ROCK! Be proud, stay vigilant and know we've got your back.


Great post!
Well, you already know my opinion about the "misinformation" and the "mistreatment".

As for mistreatment, I only ask that Del.Cosgrove ignore the ranting and rude emails and not dismiss all letter writers as "those who would blindly accept the rumors of the internet". Many of us took the sources provided and did our own research and thinking.

Keep up the good work and thanks again!


HB1807 sounds like a "lets punish the poor girl who is being taken advantage of by an older predator by making it as likely as possible that she will get pregnant.'

The only crime here is being perpetrated by the older predator. Presumably a good citizen who was aware of this would want to get the relationship ended, not punish the minor.


Yay for us! And we're on the case about Marshall's bill--I posted about it on http://rotten-eggs.blogspot.com, and I'm sure I won't be the only one. Although my view of the bill is slightly different than League's up above.

Anne M.

I'm still interested in whether the police department requested the bill or not (ema at The Well Timed Period found that they did not).


I am so sick and tired of these guys whining about how their fee-fees get hurt. What do they expect? Things like his proposed bill--and the attitudes of pro-fetus, anti-woman ideologes--hurt women all over the country, and there is no concern. We're victim-tripping if we dare say anything.

Elaine in Roanoke

Del. Robert Marshall, the same delegate who put a bill in last year that would have prohibited Virginia Tech from offering any sex education to its students over Tech's TV network, really has another doozy in Bill 1807.
Let's see...by that proposed legislation, if my 17-year-old daughter is a senior in high school and is still dating a fellow she was dating in school who is now in college and he turns the magic age of 20 and I insisted that she have birth control, I'm a felon, right?
Or...my son, who is 17, meets an "older woman" who is 20 and I suspect a sexual relationship and hand him some condoms and insist he use them, then I'm a felon, right?
Del Marshall seems to have an obsession with other people's sexuality, but I promise that I won't mention that in any email I write requesting the rationale for his legislation.

Elaine in Roanoke

Here is the email I just sent Del. Marshall. I think I was not mean. I certainly tried not to hurt his feelings:
"I am very confused about the rationale behind HB1807, your proposed legislation that would 'create a Class 6 felony to provide a minor with a contraceptive or contraceptive device if the person knows or has reason to believe that the minor is engaging in sexual relations with a person three or more years older than the minor.'
Let's see...by that proposed legislation, if my 17-year-old daughter is a senior in high school and is still dating a fellow she was dating in school who is now in college and he turns the magic age of 20 and I insisted that she have birth control, I'm a felon, right?
Or...my son, who is 17, meets an "older woman" who is 20 and I suspect a sexual relationship and hand him some condoms and insist he use them, then I'm a felon, right?
If the intent of this law is to protect young boys and girls from sexual predators and to avoid abortion, I fail to see how it can achieve that goal.
The only way I can read this proposed law is that you do not believe in the use of birth control of any kind and since you cannot stop adults from using birth control, you have decided to use the children to advance your cause.
All of us want to protect our children from sexual predators, but how in the world can your legislation achieve that goal?"



This internet activism works. And it's more important to have your rights than it is to be "nice." And criminalizing pregnant women is way more "disgusting" than calling the person trying to do it a jerk, in my book.

You fucking rock. I'm so proud.


WTF is the deal with bill 1807? Is that really being proposed, or are they just thinnking or proposing it? Because that shit needs to go down, too.


The way I read HB1807, it does not have to be a teen having sex with an adult, it could be a young teen having sex with an older teen.

In Virginia, the statutory rape laws are really complex, and pretty much any sex under age 18 is trouble for someone! So any sex covered by the bill is probably illegal to begin with, and providing contraception is thus to some extent aiding and abeting a crime. See


Putting that aside, *clearly* parents, even if no one else, should have the right to provide their children with contraceptives when/if they feel they are needed.

Questions: Does "provide" mean "pay for", or would it also cover, say, a clerk at a store which sold condoms? Would it cover a doctor giving or perscribing contraceptives to/for a patient? (I'm thinking yes, if the doctor is aware of the relationship.)

I also read the bill to mean that the person who provides the contraceptive can also be a minor - that is, if a 15 year old is having sex with an 18 year old, and her 14 year old friend gives her a condom, the 14 year old is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Read it again: "If any person knows or has reason to believe that a minor is engaging in sexual relations with a person three years or more older than the minor and such person provides the minor with a contraceptive or contraceptive device, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony." See what I mean?

Also, of course, the gender of the participants is not specified. And condoms don't just reduce the chance of pregnancy, they reduce the chance of AIDS. Will this prevent outreach workers from handing condoms to gay teens?

Hopefully this guy will explain himself, because this is pretty unacceptable as written. If nothing else, it completely undermines parents' rights to make appropriate health decisions with/for their children.

Keep us posted.


I just wanted to thank you for bringing the HB 1677 issue to light. I shared it with my online community to get the word out. To be able to report back that Cosgrove has withdrawn this piece of dreck was positively exhilirating.

I'm not sorry that Cosgrove's feelings were hurt. Perhaps now he'll be more careful about what he proposes as legislation--a gal can dream, can't she? At least now he knows he isn't operating in a vaccuum (other than that between his ears). People are watching--good for him to know!

Anyway, thanks again, and keep up the great work!


I'm still a bit confused. Cosgrove was quoted in the Augusta FP ariticle as saying:

"We've had a number of cases in the Chesapeake area that followed that description (women who gave birth and then claimed the babies were stillborn), and it was part of the legislative agenda of the Chesapeake Police Department to come up with legislation to try to give police more ammunition to be able to deal with these kinds of cases when they came up."

First, does anyone know exactly how many "a number of cases" was? Second, who exactly on the Chesapeake PD is pushing this "legislative agenda"? And finally, don't the police there have enough "ammunition" in the form of current laws to deal with women who abandon, endanger, harm or kill their babies?

Seriously, I think someone should probe this guy for more specific information to back up his back-pedaling.


Thanks so much for your diligence and activism! I'm an attorney who used to work for the Speaker of the MO House of Reps; I understand how legislation is drafted. Cosgrove COULD NOT have believed he was "adding more teeth to laws penalizing women who abandon FULL-TERM INFANTS after birth" because the section of the Code he was seeking to amend does not deal with the death of full-term infants! Either he's lying about his motive, or he never read the bill himself (which is worse?).

If Cosgrove really believed his legislation essential for the people of Virginia, why would he let a bunch of out-of-state bloggers (non-constituents!) keep him from pursuing it? I suspect it is more likely that he figured he was trying to put one over on folks, and got busted NATIONALLY. Let's see if he tries it again, once he gets over his hurt feelings....


Good job pointing this out! You should definitely give yourself a gift --- you deserve it! :)



CE Petro

Great work Maura. I agree wholeheartedly with Sheelzebub above. Who the hell is he to say his feelings are hurt? He did it to himself, right from the get-go.


Folks, now that we've gotten this bill killed, lets think about alternatives.

As I read the sponsor's comments, there is a REAL problem that I think we can agree might justify some changes. It goes down as follows:

The police find a dead "baby"; and they find the "dumper" -- but they can't prove that the baby was NOT stillborn, so the abandonment and regular felony laws won't apply. The coronors can only give an opinion as to whether there was a "live birth" if the tests are done w/in 12 hours.

Safe harbor obviously would help here, but in Colorado where I live we adopted that and people are STILL dumping babies. Alternatives, ideas?


Congratulations bloggers. Nice work. Just found this story today or I would have sent him some choice words, too.

As for suggestions, many women curtail impending motherhood via abortion and dumping when they believe themselves to be incapable of mothering. Better, European style, prenatal care would go a long way for the latter. In some countries, France I think is one, women are paid to come in for check ups, and nurses go to their homes regularly through the pregnancy and after the delivery.

In other family law injustices, do you all know about Shawna Hughes, the woman who is being kept from divorcing her jailed husband because she is pregnant? The Washington State judge, Paul Bastine, says there is case law supporting his decision against "delegitamizing the infant." I love his logic, especially as the husband is currently near the end of along sentence for assaulting his wife, and is not even contesting the divorce.


Ooops. Teach me to rant without checking my facts.
To correct my error, Hughes' husband is now out of jail.

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