Senate Democrats bills to protect reproductive healthcare killed in committee
Bills introduced by Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) and Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) to remove the requirements that women undergo a transabdominal ultrasound prior to abortion and that a second trimester abortion must be preformed in a hospital were killed in party-line committee votes on Thursday.
A third bill, from Sen. Jennifer Boysko (D-Fairfax), that would establish the right to reproductive choice in the Virginia Human Rights Act, also went down on a party-line vote.
“Women do not need state government to tell them what to do,” said Locke. “Abortion services should be subject to the same standards as other medical procedures and not subject to additional barriers. The current politically motivated barriers are only in place to allow the state to show disdain for a women’s individual choice.”
“Only one medical procedure is in the criminal code. Hospitals and other medical providers have a whole host of regulations to deal with health and safety, but only abortion is subject to criminal violations,” said McClellan. “It’s time we stop criminalizing a woman’s choice and expand access to care for all Virginians.”
“With the Supreme Court’s current make up and today’s political climate, access to reproductive healthcare is in jeopardy,” said Boysko. “We must codify our national rights into Virginia state law to ensure that the reproductive rights of Virginians are dependable, secure, and no longer in danger from changing political tides.”