URGENT CALLERS NEEDED: Fetal Anomaly Amendment up at 4PM!

The Virginia Senate Finance Committee needs to hear from you right now before a dangerous fetal anomaly amendment is heard at 4PM. Please call the committee members and tell them to oppose it. Talking points are included below. 

If your State Senator is listed below please call them immediately. 

B.A. 4-5.04 repeals abortion funding for low-income women when a physician certifies in writing that the fetus has an incapacitating physical or mental anomaly.

This amendment places no restrictions on women who can afford to pay for their own abortion and targets only those low income women who cannot afford to end their pregnancy after learning of a severe physical or mental anomaly. SB 826 would deny poor women access to safe care, for no other reason than their poverty.

Women of Virginia should not be denied necessary healthcare based upon their ability to pay.

  • If B.A. 4-5.04 is approved, Medicaid-eligible women in Virginia will have no option for a pregnancy in which the fetus has an incapacitating physical or mental anomaly.
  • Every woman’s situation is different and many things can go wrong in a pregnancy. No woman plans to have an abortion, but if she needs one, every woman deserves the opportunity to make the best decision for her circumstances.
  • In many cases, these are much wanted pregnancies and women and their families are devastated when a terrible diagnosis is made. Many fetal anomalies are not diagnosed until the 2nd trimester, which makes the abortion more expensive, more complicated, and difficult to access.
  • Leaving poor women without financial assistance for safe and sometimes critical care threatens their wellbeing. These Medicaid-eligible women are by definition very poor, and B.A. 4-5.04‘s denial of care would exacerbate the crisis for those of them who decide they want to terminate the pregnancy.
  • When a woman receives a catastrophic prenatal diagnosis, she should have the option that her wealthier counterparts enjoy to end the pregnancy safely and with dignity. B.A. 4-5.04 would force her to scramble for money she does not have, and therefore quite possibly carry to term against her will. Women suffering a medical crisis such as this deserve our respect and support.

Health care decisions are best made by individuals and their medical providers.

  • B.A. 4-5.04 stands between a physician who believes that an abortion is necessary for her patient after discovering a fetal anomaly and that patient if she is low-income. No such barrier exists for women capable of paying.

This amendment places an undue burden on low-income women who already face decreased access to medical care. Instead of improving the health and safety of low-income women in Virginia, B.A. 4-5.04  removes another layer of health care from those already at risk.