Legislators Praise VP for Focusing on Critical Issue of Ensuring Virginia Remains a Leader on Reproductive Health
HIGHLAND SPRINGS, VA – Today, Virginia legislators joined Vice President Kamala Harris in Henrico County for a discussion on protecting access to abortion in Virginia, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
Abortion remains legal in Virginia, but several Republican legislators and Gov. Youngkin have proposed plans that would restrict or ban abortion following the recent Supreme Court decision.
“We are so glad to have Vice President Harris here, not only to hear what we have and are doing in Virginia, but what she and President Biden can do to protect access to reproductive healthcare,” said Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond), who hosted the discussion at the IBEW Local 666 in Highland Springs. “In 2020, I worked with Del. Charniele Herring to pass the Reproductive Health Protection Act, repealing medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion. Now, Virginia is the safe haven for abortion care in the South – and we are going to keep it that way.”
Video of the event, posted by Blue Virginia, is here.
“I serve as chair of the Senate Education & Health Committee, where we will hold the brick wall against any bills restricting reproductive rights,” said Senator L. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), President Pro-Temp of the Senate.
“What is most distressing in this post-Roe time is talk about banning abortions even in the event of rape and incest, irrespective of age,” said Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton).
“We will always protect Virginians’ rights to get the care they need, and we welcome the many patients who are coming here now that abortion is banned in their home states,” said Del. Sally Hudson (D-Charlottesville) at the event. “But we also know that influx is straining our already limited provider network. That’s why I’m looking forward to discussing how the state and federal government can work together to strengthen our provider network, so that the rights we have on paper mean that everyone can really get the care they need in practice.”
“We will not allow Virginia to become like other states where abortion was restricted and there was a 33% increase in the death of Black mothers,” said Del. Candi Mundon King, lead for reproductive health policy in the House Democratic Caucus. “We plan to push forward a policy agenda that not only protects abortion, but addresses a range of reproductive healthcare issues, including equitable access to abortion, protecting abortion providers and ensuring access to telehealth medicine.”
“Deciding what happens to our bodies and when is a fundamental human right,” said Del. Michelle Maldonado (D-Manassas). “It’s time to stop speaking about abortion rights as a single moment-in-time issue, and begin speaking more boldly, more clearly and more frequently about it in the context of the full spectrum of lifelong reproductive health that it is.”