Virginia Beach, Virginia—Donald Trump’s Vice President, Mike Pence, will campaign this weekend with Republicans in Virginia Beach. We’re sure they’ll have plenty to talk about–like their shared agenda to end access to abortion in Virginia.
Here in Virginia, Republicans have been working hard to implement the Trump-Pence anti-abortion agenda. From mandatory ultrasounds and waiting periods to Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers and eliminating access to abortion for low-income women in the case of severe fetal anomaly, Virginia Beach Republicans have taken to heart Donald Trump’s exhortation that women who seek an abortion should be punished. Thank goodness Donald Trump’s Vice President is on his way to make sure every Virginian knows where Republicans running for the General Assembly stand: squarely between a person and their doctor.
“Our families want to live in a Commonwealth where everyone, regardless of income, race, zip code, or immigration status, can access critical health care services, including abortion, whenever they need it,” Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, said. “Donald Trump and Mike Pence campaigned on punishing women who seek an abortion. Virginia voters deserve to know if Virginia Beach Republicans share that goal. Spoiler alert: Virginia Republicans have been trying to pass restrictions to put abortion access out of reach for decades. No wonder Donald Trump’s Vice President is coming to support them.”
The Trump/Pence agenda on abortion is clear.
- Thanks to the Trump/Pence gag rule that bans clinics who receive Title X funding from referring patients to abortion providers, nearly 900 clinics are losing critical government funding for family planning services
- Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, both of whom are anti-abortion. Trump is also packing federal courts with judges who would be open to limiting access to abortion. These judges are given lifetime appointments, so they have the opportunity to limit abortion access for a generation.
Virginia Republicans share the Trump/Pence enthusiasm for chipping away at abortion access.
- Since 2008, Virginia Republicans have introduced more than 170 bills or budget amendments designed to limit access to abortion in Virginia.
- In 2010, Virginia General Assembly voted to expand its ban on state abortion coverage for Medicaid-eligible women, a blatant attack on abortion access for low-income women. Abortion should be accessible for everyone, not just those who have an extra $350-$950 laying around.
- The Virginia General Assembly passed a targeted restrictions on abortion providers (or TRAP) law in 2011, requiring existing abortion providers to adhere to the design and construction standards for building new hospitals, including specific requirements around the width of hallways, number of parking spaces, and style of sink handles.
- When the clinic-shutdown law passed the General Assembly in 2011, there were 21 first-trimester abortion providers in Virginia. Now there are 15.
- Only 7% of Virginia’s 133 localities have an abortion provider. Because of the onerous restrictions Republicans have put on abortion access, people who need abortion care sometimes have to take time off work, drive hundreds of miles, pay for a hotel room, and find child care in order to get an abortion. These barriers are too high for many people in our community.