McClellan Statement on Supreme Court Ruling in Dobbs Case

McClellan Statement on Supreme Court Ruling in Dobbs Case

RICHMOND, VA – Today, Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) released the following statement regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which strikes down the Constitutional right to abortion established by Roe v. Wade in 1973.

“Today is a devastating day for those who have fought for decades to advance reproductive rights and access to abortion,” Sen. McClellan said. “This highly political Supreme Court ruling is out-of-step with 50 years of legal precedent and nearly 70% of Americans who support Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court’s decision today will dramatically impact the lives and health of millions of Americans, and empower state governments to interfere in the relationship between a patient and their provider.

“This outrageous ruling does not change the law here in Virginia. Because of our strong state laws, abortion remains legal in Virginia. As other states face restrictions, Virginia will remain a safe haven for abortion care. We welcome everyone to make their reproductive health decisions free of government interference. 

“Your right to abortion should not depend on where you live. But today’s Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe returns the fight back to the states. I’ve fought to make Virginia a safe haven for access in the South. Now, I will fight to keep it so. 

“Virginia has made tremendous progress on reproductive health, becoming the first state in the South to expand abortion access. We must safeguard our progress and prevent any attempts to weaken abortion rights here in the Commonwealth. I’m proud that the Senate stood up to attempts to attack abortion rights this session, and I will fight to ensure the Senate remains a brick wall to protect reproductive health care.”

Sen. McClellan was the leading Senate patron of the 2020 Reproductive Health Protection Act, the first of its kind law in the South to remove medically unnceccessary restrictions on abortion and more broadly protect access to reproductive health care. It removed restrictions like mandatory ultrasounds, 24-hour waiting periods, and targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws that require abortion providers to be regulated like hospitals.

While being the first member of the House of Delegates to be pregnant while in office, McClellan opposed these restrictions when they first passed the House. She delivered a speech on the House floor in opposition to the restrictions, utilizing her copy of “What to Expect when You’re Expecting” to argue against them. 

Additionally, McClellan was the chief Senate patron of a law passed in 2021 that removed the prohibition on abortion coverage for health insurance plans offered via the health exchange. This removal made Virginia the first Southern state to eradicate these restrictions on abortion access.