McClellan Statement on Senate Committee Vote to Defeat Anti-Choice Legislation

With Vote Against HB304, All Bills to Weaken Abortion Protections Have Been Defeated

RICHMOND, VA – Today, the Senate Rules Committee voted to defeat HB 304, the last remaining abortion restriction bill this session.

Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), who authored the landmark Reproductive Health Protection Act in 2020, released the following statement on the defeat of anti-choice legislation:

“Over the past 2 years, Virginia has made huge strides to protect reproductive rights, and undo unnecessary barriers that stood between patients and their medical professionals,” McClellan said. “This session, the Senate sent a clear message: we will not turn back the clock on access to abortion and reproductive rights in Virginia. As  Florida moves to ban abortion after 15 weeks, Virginia Senate Democrats have ensured our Commonwealth remains the leader in the South on protecting access to abortion and reproductive rights. We have made tremendous progress, but the fight to protect these gains continues.”

Sen. McClellan was the chief Senate patron of the 2020 Reproductive Health Protection Act, the first law in the South to proactively protect access to reproductive care by removing medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion. These restrictions included mandatory ultrasounds, 24-hour waiting periods, and targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws that require abortion providers to be regulated like hospitals. As the first member of the House of Delegates to be pregnant while in office, McClellan was a leading opponent of these restrictions when they passed the House, delivering a speech on the House floor using her personal copy of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.”

In 2021, McClellan was the chief Senate patron of a new law that removed the ban on abortion coverage for health insurance plans offered through the health exchange, making Virginia the first state in the South to end these restrictions on abortion access.