Richmond, VA–Advocates for reproductive health and rights challenged John Adams, the GOP candidate for Virginia Attorney General, to pledge to protect Virginia women’s constitutional right to access abortion Thursday afternoon. The call with reporters preceded a Friday legal hearing in The Family Foundation’s lawsuit over amended Targeted Regulations on Abortion Providers. The office of Attorney General Mark Herring is defending the Virginia Board of Health in the suit.
In October 2016, the Virginia Board of Health voted to amend Virginia’s regulations governing first trimester abortion providers to reflect evidence-based medicine, the advice of medical experts, and the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. The Whole Woman’s Health decision holds that states may not enact restrictions on abortion that impose an undue burden on access. Advocates challenged Adams to pledge to abide by the Whole Woman’s Health precedent should he be elected and ensure regulations of abortion providers are based in medicine, not politics.
Dr. Serina Floyd, OB-GYN and abortion provider:
“The reality is that Virginia’s sham restrictions threatened to close the doors of safe, high quality health care clinics that not only provided abortion care but also contraception, STI testing and treatment, and preventative health services. The mothers, daughters, and sisters of Virginia deserve to have full autonomy over their bodies, to receive high quality health care free from coercion, and the right to legal and safe abortion and contraceptive care. It is imperative that any individual running for a position in Virginia government not only recognize and respect this, but that they also support it. And any individual who does not, should not receive the support of the Virginia people.”
Jennifer Allen, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia
“Virginia has seen what happens when an activist Attorney General abuses the power of his position to try to shut down women’s access to abortion. We won’t go back. John Adams has called for “four more Clarence Thomases” on SCOTUS to overturn decisions on marriage equality–an activist agenda that would also threaten women’s health. As anti-women’s health zealots head to court to try to stop evidence based regulations of abortion providers, Virginia women need to know: will John Adams let doctors make medical decisions or use the AG’s office to advance his extreme ideological agenda?”
Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia
“Since 2010, anti-women’s health politicians in the General Assembly have introduced over 85 restrictions on women’s access to reproductive health care. The last thing we need is an Attorney General who would take this anti-women’s health agenda to the next level. The Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt provides critical protections for women here in Virginia. John Adams must come clean whether he’ll abide by this ruling or be yet another politician who throws women under the bus for an ideological crusade.”