It’s been a rough month for everyone who supports people’s right to control their own bodies and make reproductive choices for themselves. With conservatives passing laws in Georgia, Ohio, Alabama, and Missouri that amount to nearly complete bans on abortion in those states, people with uteruses have fewer rights than corpses when it comes to deciding what happens to their bodies.
That’s why here in Virginia, we HAVE to do everything we can to ensure that abortion not only stays legal, but also is affordable and accessible so that people can make decisions about whether, how, and when to start a family on their own terms. One way to do that is to get rid of the unconstitutional, politically motivated sham retrictions on abortion providers, also known as TRAP laws, in Virginia.
What is TRAP?
TRAP (Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers) laws are designed to shut down abortion clinics and prevent people from accessing abortion. These restrictions regulate things like the width of hallways, the number of parking spaces, and how many water fountains abortion clinics must have. When the TRAP restrictions were passed in 2011, they forced several abortion clinics in Virginia to shut down. Now only 9 out of 133 localities in the Commonwealth even have an abortion clinic.
These sham restrictions are politically motivated and have nothing to do with the health and safety of women. In fact, the Supreme Court of the United States determined that similar restrictions in Texas were unconstitutional in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt in 2016. Despite this landmark decision, the TRAP regulations are still on the books in Virginia.
But now, we have the opportunity to ditch TRAP regulations forever! Through a (frankly pretty tedious and bureaucratic) regulatory process with the Board of Health, we can fix these sham restrictions once and for all. The first step is easy. All you have to do is click here to leave a comment telling the board of health that you don’t support the sham restrictions and you want them to vote against them. We have 30 days to leave as many comments as possible, so make sure you leave one and get all of your friends to leave a comment too!
After the comment period is over, the Board of Health will review the comments and make a decision at a meeting in September. So make sure the Board of Health knows that you stand with the majority of Virginians in support of abortion access and against the sham restrictions!
Check out our other blog posts on TRAP restrictions in Virginia: