In order for our communities to thrive, one of the most basic things we need is the ability to decide for ourselves whether, how, and when to start a family. Everyone needs the basic autonomy to decide what happens with their bodies and the right to choose how many children they do or do not have so that they can make decisions about where to live, where to work, and what they want their lives to look like.
Seems like comon sense, right? But conservative politicians and anti-family extremists are doing everything they can to block our access to abortion, birth control, and other health care services that make it possible to make these decisions.
You may think that here in Virginia (unlike in Georgia, Ohio, Alabama, and Missouri) we have access to abortion. And, technically, we do. However, would it surprise you to know that over the last 20 years, conservative politicians in Richmond have been chipping away at access to abortion in the Commonwealth to the extent that only 9 out 133 localities have an abortion clinic?
It’s true. Check out our new video that details just what these restrictions are and how we got to where we are now.
These restrictions mean that a person who has decided to have an abortion may have to take off work, find childcare for their children, and travel several hours from their home in order to get somewhere that even has an abortion clinic. Then they have to undergo a mandatory ultrasound for no medical reason at all. After that, they still have to wait another 24 hours (and either stay in a hotel or spend extra money on gas to get home and back) before they can actually get an abortion. In addition to all that, some health insurance policies don’t cover abortion care, so people who need to have an abortion have to pay for it out of pocket, and often up front.
In practice, that means that low-income people, younger people, people without access to reliable transportation, and people who cannot easily take time off work all have a very difficult time accessing abortion in Virginia, if they can access it at all. I want to live in a Virginia where all of the members of my community have access to vital health care services, including abortion.
As long as we continue to let conservative, white men make decisions in Richmond, we won’t get there. We have a lot of work to do to ensure that everyone who has decided to have an abortion cannot only legally obtain one, but is also about to afford and access it. So watch the new video about these restrictions and sign up to take action to get rid of them!
Check out our other blogs about abortion access in Virginia:
- One Bill That Needs To Pass If You Care About Your Lady Parts
- The Whole Woman’s Health Victory a Year Later
- Who is this group suing to end abortion access?