Richmond, Virginia—Today, dozens of abortion access supporters gathered at the Capitol to demand that members of the House of Delegates take an up-or-down vote on SJ255, a constitutional amendment that would establish a fundamental right to reproductive freedom, including abortion access, without interference from the government. Shortly after the rally, members of the House of Delegates rejected HR323, which would have allowed that vote. With elections coming up in November, it is critical that people in our community know exactly where their elected representatives stand on abortion access, and our representatives in Richmond are too cowardly to even take a vote.
“People in our community have made it clear over and over again that they believe everyone should be able to choose how and when to become a parent for themselves. 77% of Virginia voters have said they want everyone to have access to abortion care when they need it. With access to abortion under attack all over the country, it is more important than ever that we know where all of our leaders stand on abortion access and reproductive freedom so we can vote out those who don’t agree with us,” LaTwyla Mathias, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, said. “We’re here today to let members of the House of Delegates know that they can’t hide from this issue and demand an up-or-down vote on the resolution that would ensure every person in Virginia has access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, without interference from politicians in Richmond. It’s shameful that politicians in Richmond won’t even do that much”.”
Last week, due to pressure from activists, members of the House Courts of Justice Subcommittee #1 did finally docket and reject SJ255 on a vote of 5-3, but it never went before the full committee for a final vote. Voters deserve to know where their representatives stand on the important issue of abortion access and reproductive freedom.
What the amendment does: SJ255 gives Virginians the freedom to make their own decisions about their health, economic security, and future, not the government.
- Establishes the fundamental right to reproductive freedom, including abortion care, without interference.
- Establishes the right to make decisions about all matters related to pregnancy without discrimination.
- Protects against the criminalization of pregnancy status and outcomes.
- Protects against the punishment of providers and those assisting standard reproductive healthcare.
- This process is a multi-year effort that must pass the General Assembly two years in a row with an intervening House election before letting the voters decide. (For Ex: 2023-2024 or 2025-2026)