Virginia Democrats sound alarms on Republican assaults on abortion rights

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Efforts to roll back abortion rights in Alabama and Georgia are reminiscent of the attempt of Virginia Republicans to force women to undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound before receiving an abortion.

Despite Republican control of the executive branch, the Senate, and the House of Delegates, in 2012 Democrats were able to amend the wildly unpopular measure and change the medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound clause to a non-invasive transabdominal ultrasound.

The Republican majority also passed a Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP) bill that placed burdensome and medically unnecessary restrictions on clinics providing access to abortion, by requiring the clinics to comply with hospital building standards. In 2014, under Governor Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia Board of Health amended these arbitrary requirements that were intended to shut down abortion clinics.

“This is a devastating nationwide trend in which Republicans in state legislatures are assaulting a woman’s right to make her own reproductive healthcare decisions. Virginia is no different – this year, Republicans in the House of Delegates have made it clear that their primary campaign platform is to restrict Virginia women’s access to abortion,” said House Democratic Leader Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax).

In 2019, Virginia House Republicans grossly misrepresented a bill that would repeal medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion in cases when the woman’s health is at risk, and they also passed a budget amendment to gut an existing program that removes the financial barrier for low-income women who choose long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) for birth control.

Just last week, Delegate Bob Thomas (R-Stafford) was asked about the restrictive Georgia law on the John Fredericks Show, and he responded, “I don’t believe it’s too extreme… I would love to see Virginia move that way…”

“These restrictive and medically unnecessary laws undermine women’s autonomy over their own bodies,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria). “Women deserve to make their own informed healthcare decisions in consultation with their medical provider. Republican legislators should respect and trust women’s decisions, rather than interfering with that medical relationship.”

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