House Democrats Attempt To Force A Vote On Constitutional Amendment for Reproductive Freedom 

Richmond, Virginia—Today in the House of Delegates, Delegate Marcus Simon introduced a resolution, HR323, to change to the House rules that would allow members to 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. Because House Republicans have so far refused to docket bills on controversial topics like abortion access, this rules change and subsequent vote , if successful, would allow people across Virginia to know where their representatives stand on abortion access going into the 2023 elections when all members of the House of Delegates are up for re-election. 

“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. “Republicans want to hide from abortion and pretend it doesn’t exist because they know they will lose re-election if voters know they oppose abortion access. This rules change  will force a vote and ensure that every member of the House of Delegates has a record on abortion access, and we’re grateful to Delegate Simon and House Democrats for taking a stand.” 


The rules change  must be read on the House Floor 5 times before a vote can be called, so the earliest a vote can happen will be Thursday, February 23. 

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)