It’s official. As of July 1, some of the major barriers to abortion access here in Virginia will be a thing of the past. Because we passed the Reproductive Health Protection Act during this year’s General Assembly session, we no longer have to worry about TRAP laws that regulate the number of parking spaces or the width of hallways at abortion clinics. We also no longer have to force people to undergo an ultrasound they don’t want and make two visits to the clinic with 24 hours in between them before being able to access abortion care.
This is a huge victory!
Because of this law, people who need access to abortion care don’t have to worry about taking off work, finding childcare, getting a hotel room, and figuring out how to get to an abortion clinic that might be far away like they did literally just last week. These medically-unnecessary requirements all but put abortion out of reach for the most vulnerable among us including low-income people, people of color, people without access to reliable transportation, and many others. But they’re now a thing of the past.
Reproductive health and justice advocates worked for years to make this victory happen. Without the hard work of countless advocates, like NARAL Pro-Choice VA, Virginia League for Planned Parenthood, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance, and the Latina Institute Virginia, who believed that abortion access in Virginia could be available to more people, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
But our work isn’t finished. Though this is a huge victory and we should definitely celebrate, there’s much more work to be done to ensure that every single Virginian, regardless of race, income level, zip code, or immigration status, has access to the abortion care they need when they need it. And there are still politicians in Virginia like Delegate Kirk Cox who will do everything they can to keep abortion access out of reach for as many people as possible. So we need you to stay involved and keep paying attention to prevent that from happening.
The first thing you can do is pledge to vote on November 3 for candidates who support abortion access. After that, follow us on social media and sign up for our email list to stay informed on what is happening with abortion access in Virginia and how you can help make sure that all of us can access safe and affordable abortion care in the Commonwealth.
Check out our other bills highlighted in Progress Virginia’s Christmas in July: