Exposing the real anti-choice movement

By Sarah Hogg, Fall 2014 Choice Out Loud Campus Representative at James Madison University. Feel free to email Sarah or connect with her on Twitter @SarahLovely.

GREAT NEWS: Last Thursday, December 4, the Virginia Board of Health voted to move forward with amendments to dangerous & medically unnecessary TRAP restrictions on women’s health centers. This was a huge victory for women’s reproductive rights, and I am so proud to have been one of the many activists that lined up at 6am to urge the Board to take the first step to #ScrapTRAP!  It was fantastic to walk out of the Board of Health on Thursday afternoon knowing we had just secured a pro-choice win – and I am so thankful for the amazing pro-choice activists, allies, and experts that rallied together to make this happen.

Unfortunately, something happened at the meeting that was not so great. As expected, anti-choice protesters were also present with their signs & materials – as they have every right to be.  I have seen my fair share of anti-choice protest signs, and while I completely recognize that they can be upsetting or triggering for many people, I try not to let them bother me. However, I was absolutely not prepared for the other side’s transphobic and frankly hateful rhetoric aimed at a member of Governor McAuliffe’s administration.

While waiting outside the meeting room, I and several other people were presented with a pamphlet authored by the Virginia Christian Alliance. These six-page pamphlets – which were distributed widely by anti-choice activists – outed a member of the McAuliffe administration as transgender and included a slew of hateful, transphobic and bigoted language.

As a queer woman, I was terrified. As a feminist and pro-choice activist, I was horrified. And as a compassionate human being, I was shocked at the intolerance and the hate exhibited by those claiming to be “pro-women”.  After seeing anti-choice activists out and demean a transgender woman on the basis of her gender identity, something became very clear: the same people who are working to restrict women’s bodily autonomy are the very people working to silence and stigmatize those in the queer community. Although the anti-choice movement may claim to be about “protecting women”, at the end of the day it is motivated by gender-based hate — plain and simple.

Transphobia is extremely dangerous—it hurts and it kills. The blatant discrimination against the trans* community found in the anti-choice propaganda we were given on Thursday shows just how far some anti-choice folks will go to advocate their point. This is more than shameful. It is abhorrent, and dangerous.

I am outraged that the anti-choice movement would stoop to such lows, but honestly, I am not surprised. I am once again reminded of the importance of transgender equality in reproductive justice — we are all connected, and it is so important that we all support each other. If you hear transphobic remarks and anti-trans* discrimination, please speak up and say something—provided you feel safe enough to do so. It is vitally important that we, as reproductive justice activists, continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies in the trans community – and expose the anti-choice agenda for what it really is. We are not fooled by their “pro-woman” disguise, and we will not be quiet about it.

November Update from the University of Richmond

By Kristen Gell, Fall 2014 Choice Out Loud Campus Representative at the University of Richmond. Connect with Kristen and the Students United for Reproductive Justice (SURJ) crew on Facebook!

This November has been another great month here at the University of Richmond!  In the spirit of thanks, SURJ celebrated Thank You, Birth Control Day on November 12.  We discussed all of the various reasons why birth control has so many values far beyond just pregnancy prevention.  We set up a table in our Commons where students could also write why they were thankful for birth control.  We plan to publish some of the most common answers in the next edition of our zine, coming out this January!

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Advertisements for our penultimate meeting of the semester where we watched Obvious Child!

In an effort to break away from the stress of midterms, we decided to break from the structure of our usual Monday night meeting and watch a movie instead!  We invited people from across campus to come and watch Obvious Child during one of our exam weeks.  The event was a big success!  We all had many laughs (thanks to the one and only Jenny Slate) while watching a movie with a great takeaway message.  Afterwards, we stuck around for a bit to give attendees a brief overview of our organization and how they can get involved next semester.  The movie was a great way to show people that we can support and advocate for reproductive rights all while having fun!

For a while now, our organization has wanted to get club t-shirts.  While we found many templates and designs online that we liked, we ultimately decided it would be really cool if we could create our own original design.  We have a few mock-ups in the works and hope to be sporting some really cool gear next semester – stay tuned!

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An organizational meeting where we planned events for next semester, including t-shirt design ideas and more ways to get off campus.

This month ended well with a trip to the Board of Health meeting on December 4th.  A few of our members went to the latest meeting in which the Board of Health voted on whether or not to amend the TRAP laws designed to make abortion less accessible to Virginians.  Such regulations require clinics to follow the same strict regulations as new hospitals.

While we got there early, there were hundreds of people lined up trying to secure a place in the meeting and, with only 180 spots available, we were not able to get in.  However, there was a large crowd outside that we became a part of.  It was a great opportunity to see our work in action and how even one person can make a difference.

We spoke with others from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the Feminist Majority Foundation, and people who were just there on their own! It was great to hear everyone’s input and perspectives on the specific issues at hand.

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Some SURJ members at the Board of Health meeting. We did a “swag swap” with some of the other organizations there and ended up with cool things from multiple people, including these signs!

There were also, of course, the opponents to the amendment.  It was sad to see how they used their young children as “props” and their use of deceptive posters advertising that they were trying to help women.

All in all, the day was a success, and the Board voted to amend the TRAP laws!

VA Board of Health votes to #ScrapTRAP!

Exciting news: Last week, the Virginia Board of Health just voted to move forward with amending the state’s targeted regulations on abortion providers (TRAP)!

After years of fighting these dangerous and medically-unnecessary restrictions, this is a huge, critical step forward. The vote last week means we get another shot to ensure that regulations on abortion providers actually advance women’s health,  instead of forcing all but 4 of Virginia’s 18 abortion providers to close.

Women's health activists wait in line outside the Board of Health meeting!

Women’s health activists wait in line outside the Board of Health meeting!

The Board of Health’s action last week was only possible because of thousands of Virginians like you who’ve joined us to speak out against onerous, medically-unnecessary restrictions designed to shut abortion providers down. Hundreds of women’s health activists lined up outside the meeting as early as 6:00am to urge the Board of Health to amend the restrictions, and Board members heard from dozens of medical professionals, legal experts and impacted women who voiced support for regulations based in medicine, not politics!

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Together, we made sure policymakers like Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Commissioner of Health Dr. Marissa Levine, and now the Board of Health’s members all agree that the TRAP regulations need be reviewed and amended.  We can’t thank you enough.

But although this vote was a big step, our work still isn’t over! The Board of Health’s regulation amendment process will begin next year. As usual, we’ll keep you updated with opportunities to help see this process through and make sure abortion access is protected in Virginia.

Thank you as always for your continuing support and action!

November and (Part of) December with William and Mary’s VOX

By Jenny Rossberg, Fall 2014 Choice Out Loud Campus Representative at the College of William and Mary. Connect with Jenny at vox@email.wm.edu.

This month at William and Mary, Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX) continued our usual routine of tabling for sexual health awareness and attending Clinic Defense in Richmond, VA, with the super awesome addition of our Speak Out! Abortion Talk on December 3rd.

Clinic Defense on November 1st went very well. Four VOX members—Bri Little, Rachel Cook, Haley Wenk, Karla Kaplan, and Katie Baldewin—traveled to a Planned Parenthood clinic in order to help escort clinic patients past protestors. According to the members who attended the protest was relatively low-key and they didn’t have any problems with violence. The protestors were, however, verbally accosting both the people entering the clinic and clinic escort. They try to force information on women entering the clinic, pray loudly at the walls, and try to convince escorts of the wrongs they’re doing toward God and unborn babies. Sigh.

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Left to Right: Karla Kaplan, Jenny Rossberg, NARAL representative Ta’Kindra Westbrook, Katie Baldewin, and Taylor Medley

On November 8th, VOX members had a slightly more positive experience when we traveled to Portsmouth to help NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia table at the local Farmers Market. Quite a few shoppers signed up for emails from NARAL and stopped to talk to us about the work we’re doing. There were also lots of dogs and baked goods present, so we all had a pretty good time.

On November 12th, VOX celebrated National Birth Control Day! We had members take pictures with a sign explaining why they were grateful for birth control, plus we had several people from outside the club submit their reasons. It was a super positive outpouring of support for birth control and kind of makes you forget why anyone would ever be opposed to it.

Banner designed by William and Mary student Kalyn Horn.

Banner designed by William and Mary student Kalyn Horn.

Our most important events this month(ish) was our first ever Speak Out! Abortion Talk. To put it simply, it couldn’t have gone better. We collected 13 stories from people from the William and Mary community, those close to them, and other submissions in an effort to erase the stigma surrounding abortions and start an open conversation. We had VOX members read the stories aloud as well as one member who shared her personal story, followed by an open discussion with the audience led by NARAL’s Ta’Kindra Westbrook.

The turn out for the event was great—we had around 70 students show up and many of them participated in the discussion afterwards. Several of our members shared the stories of their mothers, neighbors, and friends. It was simultaneously obvious that a diverse range of people has abortions and that abortion is relatively common.

picture251 in 3 American women will have an abortion in her lifetime, and these women aren’t strangers. The women who have abortions are our mothers, our daughters, and our friends. They’re people we care about who made the right decision for themselves at the time, and we need to recognize that it was their choice and not shame them into silence about it.

VOX plans to repeat the event next year to help facilitate the conversation about abortion on our campus and in our community.

(Note: VOX also recognizes that trans* men and non-binary individuals can have abortions; “women” should be recognized a shorthand for “people with uteruses” in order to include everyone who can have abortions in this conversation.)

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Anti-choice messaging tactics need to be examined, not ignored

The following op-ed was written by Sarah Hogg, Fall 2014 Choice Out Loud Campus Representative at James Madison University. Feel free to email Sarah or connect with her on Twitter @SarahLovely.

Last Monday, I was enjoying a sleepy morning relaxing with a book and a cup of tea. It was beautiful outside, and the sun was shining through the windows of my bedroom—always an indicator of a good day in what has been a fairly gloomy November. Just as I was getting ready to head to campus, feeling prepared and excited for the day, social media exploded. The Genocide Awareness Project was back on campus for the first time in three years.

I’m a senior at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where I’ve been NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s campus representative intern for the past four semesters. JMU could be seen as a somewhat liberal campus—our town typically goes blue in elections, which is largely influenced by college students—but access to safe and affordable abortions is still a controversial topic, as it is most everywhere.

Three years ago, during my very first semester at JMU in fall 2011, an awful campaign called the Genocide Awareness Project (or GAP for short) came to JMU and set up on the Commons, our central point of campus where many groups table and pass out fliers everyday. The Genocide Awareness Project displays massive, sprawling photo-murals of aborted fetuses and compares abortion to genocide—an absolutely abhorrent anti-choice tactic. GAP’s display is extremely triggering and demonizes and terrorizes people who have had abortions. They are blatantly anti-woman and anti-choice.

The Genocide Awareness Project is not innocent. Their intense photo display cannot be cast off as an irrelevant thing that a bunch of extremists put together. This kind of anti-choice tactic cannot, and should not, be ignored. The fact is that their campaign is deeply harmful, and possibly even triggering, to a huge number of people. It is violent anti-choice messaging, and has severe effects on those who see it. I know for a fact that at least one person had a panic attack upon seeing the images GAP displayed, and I am sure she was not the only one. Here’s the bottom line: if your campaign is putting people’s mental (and/or physical) health in danger, it needs to stop. While it’s easy to write GAP off as ignorant, or just something awful that came through campus and left two days later, that’s not all it is. It hurts people. It shames them. And herein lies the problem.

The choice to have an abortion can be a difficult one. Even so, research shows that the majority of people who have had abortions do not regret them and do not feel shame surrounding their choice. However, when they are confronted by individuals or groups telling them that they contributed to genocide, or murdered a child, or are awful people who are going to Hell, they may begin to feel like those allegations are true. They may begin to feel shame not because of their own choice, but because of the despicable messaging that is being thrown in their face because of that choice. It has to stop.

I recognize that the kind of anti-choice messaging the Genocide Awareness Project practices may only be promoted or accepted by extreme pro-life folks, but the overall theme is the same: abortion is inherently wrong, and therefore, people who seek abortions should feel ashamed for their choices and those who advocate for safe, legal, and affordable abortion access must be stopped. This kind of dangerous rhetoric is seen all over the place in the anti-choice movement, but, as we’ve seen, it isn’t innocent. It has the ability to push people who have had abortions to a place of shame and silence.

My hope is that JMU students and students on other campuses who have been unlucky enough to experience GAP are now motivated to take action. The conversation surrounding GAP and anti-choice messaging was one of the things that inspired me to jump into the pro-choice, feminist worlds my freshman year. If we can’t get them off our campus, we can at least think critically about projects like GAP and become more involved in reproductive justice. We can no longer allow people who seek abortions to be shamed into silence by loud, extreme voices. We have to be louder.

October Update from the University of Richmond

By Kristen Gell, Fall 2014 Choice Out Loud Campus Representative at the University of Richmond. Connect with Kristen and the Students United for Reproductive Justice (SURJ) crew on Facebook!

October has been a busy month for Students United for Reproductive Justice (SURJ) here at UR!  We’ve really gotten into the groove of things and established our presence well on campus.

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Tabling in support of the Day of Action for Safe and Legal Abortion, where we handed out information and statistics on abortion and it’s restrictions in Virginia, the US, and the world to students.

Just this month, we published our first zine!  It took a while for us to get it all put together, especially considering it’s our inaugural issue, but we are happy with the result!  From here on out, we hope to publish two per semester.  Our first issue was meant to be an introduction to SURJ and what we do for those who are unfamiliar with us.  It highlights the scope of reproductive justice in order to set the scene for what we will be addressing throughout the year.  We hope to establish the zines as something students can come to expect to see every so often around campus.

At the end of September, our school hosted Laverne Cox as part of the speaker series for UR Comes Out!, a part of celebration of LGBTQ history month, which occurs in October.  Her speech was moving and inspiring and certainly a privilege for all of us to attend.  In our own discussions, we made a pledge to make everything we do as an organization as inclusive as we can so as not to exclude trans* people from the scope of reproductive justice.
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UR students were fortunate enough to meet Laverne Cox after her talk. We plan to integrate many of her ideas into our actions. As she said, “Justice is what love looks like in public,” and we hope to spread the love in all that we do.

In an effort to become an active part of the reproductive justice community not only on campus, but also in the greater Richmond area, we participated in our first day of clinic defense!  It was a great opportunity for us to speak with others in the Richmond community about issues they face and how they are actively involved in being a force for change.  It was also valuable for us to see firsthand the intimidation tactics used by anti-choice protesters and how they operate.  We had a great time chatting with the other defenders and were able to keep the protesters at bay, and hope to return to the clinic again soon for another successful weekend!

While much of what we do is centered around organizing for action with respect to reproductive justice topics, sometimes it’s nice just to get out as a group and have fun!  In the spirit of choice and the month of October, we decided to go pumpkin picking!

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We had a great time at the pumpkin patch!

We all had a blast wandering around the patch choosing the perfect pumpkin (or not!), drinking hot cider, and even buying some fresh veggies for dinner.  It provided us with a great opportunity to get to know each other better and will definitely have a positive impact on how we function as an organization.

October Update from James Madison University

By Sarah Hogg, Fall 2014 Choice Out Loud Campus Representative at James Madison University. Feel free to email Sarah or connect with her on Twitter @SarahLovely.

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Sarah Hogg

It’s been a great month for choice and reproductive justice at James Madison University! I’ve been the campus rep here for two years, and this has definitely been my favorite semester yet. In October, we worked on building solidarity and community among pro-choice activists on campus, published an op-ed on TRAP regulations in the student newspaper, and ran a successful campaign on the importance of voting pro-choice!

My favorite event of the month was our “What’s Scarier Than Halloween?” pro-choice voting awareness campaign. Every semester our Choice Out Loud team runs some kind of whiteboard campaign, and I have to say that I think this one was the best yet!

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Nicholas Wilfong

Our goal was to raise consciousness about voting on JMU’s campus and make it fun and educational at the same time. Putting a twist on our usual “I’m voting pro-choice because…” whiteboards, we decided to mix it up and make this campaign Halloween-themed. The whiteboards read “What’s scarier than Halloween?” and students and staff wrote in their pro-choice, pro-women, healthcare related answers and then took a picture with the whiteboard.

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Meredith Hartsel

At the end of the campaign, we made a photo album of all 38 participants and their responses, which was posted to NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s Facebook page. Not only was the campaign fun for everyone involved, it got students talking about the importance of voting in favor of reproductive justice for all.

One of my main goals of the Choice Out Loud internship this semester is building solidarity and community among pro-choice folks. While great work can be done on an individual level, amazing work is done in groups where people feel they are safe, understood, and share the same goals and aspirations. In order to begin work on this goal, I held a pro-choice movie night where a small group of active Choice Out Loud volunteers watched “Obvious Child.”

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Alexa McManus

Afterwards, we had a short discussion, but overall my goal was just to bring people together to begin to build those meaningful relationships that truly make grassroots movements unique. I’m looking forward to continuing this community building in November with a pro-choice coffee series called “Coffee, Consciousness, and Choice” where volunteers will come together to discuss a new reproductive justice-related topic each week!

We’ve had a great semester so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us at James Madison University over the next couple of months!

Check out all of the “What’s Scarier than Halloween” responses:

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October with William and Mary’s Voices for Planned Parenthood

By Jenny Rossberg, Fall 2014 Choice Out Loud Campus Representative at the College of William and Mary. Connect with Jenny at vox@email.wm.edu.

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Here’s our VOX poster board with some condoms and NARAL buttons! (Also plants from the Botany Club plant sale)

This month VOX kept our pro-choice activism going steady with a number of education and volunteer events. We tabled twice in Sadler, our food court/student center area in order to raise awareness about STI prevention on campus and to advertise our club. As usual, we handed out free condoms, stickers, buttons, and information about CPC’s.

In addition to our normal sexual health message, though, we also gave out information sheets about pro-choice and anti-choice candidates for the upcoming midterm elections. We really want students to understand how important it is to vote for candidates that will protect women’s reproductive rights.

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VOX member Elaine Edwards holds up our candidate info sheet, which lists pro and anti-choice candidates in the November midterm elections.

VOX also had two clinic escort events this October, in which members drove to Richmond to stand in support of patients visiting a Planned Parenthood clinic. Members said that the first clinic defense was very low-key: the protestors tried to talk to them and change their minds a couple of times, but otherwise they left our clinic escorts alone. The second time, however, someone driving by spit at the escorts from their car. A pro-choice pizza shop owner apparently turned the day around by offering the escorts a free pizza.

As a club, clinic defense is very near and dear to our hearts. Not only do we like to help the patients, but we also get to learn about what we’re doing as a movement. It’s one of the only times students from a relatively liberal campus interact with strongly anti-choice people. A lot of the protestors do not understand that the clinic provides many services other than abortion, nor is the abortion information they distribute accurate.

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VOX members left to right: Haley Arata, Taylor Medley, Elaine Edwards, and Katelyn Reimer.

All of the groups we’ve seen are faith-based, and all of them offer religious salvation and help raising a baby (namely giving out free strollers) to the women going into the clinic. They can be polite and passive, but other times they harass clinic patients by trying to give them pamphlets or show grotesque images of late-term aborted fetuses to both patients and cars driving by.

VOX did a few other things this month. At one of our meetings we watched the documentary After Tiller as a club and afterward had a discussion led by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s Ta’Kindra Westbrook. Since late-term abortions are such a specific and difficult topic, the club really liked learning more about them and the providers. We also attended an event that the Pro-Life club on campus hosted called “Stump the Pro-Lifers.” It was overall very unproductive, but it did give us a sense of what pro-life rhetoric is like and what we’re up against as we continue to fight for abortion rights and better repro-health/justice education.

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VOX members left to right: Bri Little, Haley Wenk, Rachel Cook, Karla Kaplan, Katie Baldewin.

Finally, VOX helped support Healthy Relationships Month this October by attending the events that H.O.P.E. (Health Outreach Peer Educators) put on to educate students about healthy relationships and consent. They had a forum about healthy relationships, tabled to raise awareness about alcohol and issues with consent, and finally hosted the open house of William and Mary’s new safe space for survivors of sexual assault, The Haven.

Overall October was a very productive month for VOX. Next month we’re looking forward to more tabling, movie screenings, and clinic defenses, as well as planning a campus-wide abortion talk and the imminent destruction of the patriarchy.

Volunteer Spotlight: Jaime Argandona

Jaime started his work with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia at the Arlington Leadership & Advocacy Summit this summer. As a Choice Ambassador, he has taken part in half a dozen subsequent events, including tabling, trainings, and socials.

Jaime

1) What makes you pro-choice?

I am pro-choice because I am a feminist.  I am pro-choice because not having legal control over one’s body is dehumanizing.  I am pro-choice because abortions will happen regardless of their legality.

2) What made you decide to get involved with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia?

I learned about the fight for reproductive rights studying the Roe case in Civics class and (mistakenly) thought the issue was settled.  Three years ago, Virginia’s introduction of anti-abortion policies like the transvaginal ultrasound bill began making headlines, and I began to pay more attention.  The closure of the NOVA Women’s Healthcare Clinic in Fairfax City due to TRAP laws last year was a rude awakening.  I didn’t think that would happen here.  I decided to get involved.  I was glad to see a NARAL table at the Falls Church Farmers Market, signed up for the mailing list, and attended the Volunteer Leadership Summit over the summer.

3) What’s been your favorite NARAL event?

Choice Discussion Group is my favorite activity.  Hearing the experiences and perspectives of others on reproductive justice issues both informs and challenges my own.  These discussions make all of us better pro-choice advocates by getting us comfortable talking about the issues.

4) What do you imagine the future will be like as regards reproductive rights?

If I let my imagination run, I can imagine a world that sees reproductive rights as inalienable as liberty. More immediately, in the US, we can either continue the erosion of the constitutional right to abortion, or we can come together to keep abortion safe, accessible and destigmatized.

Thank you for all your terrific work, Jaime!

Women’s health rights may be moving forward, but the battle is far from over

The following op-ed was written for “The Breeze” by Sarah Hogg, Fall 2014 Choice Out Loud Campus Representative at James Madison University. Feel free to email Sarah or connect with her on Twitter @SarahLovely.

It is no secret that women’s health rights, specifically abortion rights, are heavily debated within the United States. This summer saw two anti-woman, anti-choice wins in the landmark Hobby Lobby and McCullen v. Coakley Supreme Court cases. However, the abortion debate isn’t just in Washington D.C. in the Supreme Court or in Congress—it’s also happening right here in our backyard. Virginian women have dealt with extreme opposition to abortion, birth control, and general healthcare for many years, a battle that was exemplified in 2012 with the passage of Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP laws) by the Virginia Assembly. The Virginia Board of Health initially refused to comply with TRAP laws, but ultimately decided to pass the regulations after being pressured, bullied, and even threatened by former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

TRAP laws impose superfluous restrictions on clinics that provide abortions and demand that they have the same building standards hospitals do, all under the guise of “women’s safety.” This is a ridiculous notion considering that abortion is one of the safest medical procedures one can have—the procedure will not become safer if it is performed in a larger room or in a clinic with expanded hallways. TRAP laws are just a backhanded way to get abortion clinics to close—the extreme politicians pushing for these regulations only care about eliminating abortion, not women’s safety. Due to these costly new building regulations, some clinics across the Commonwealth were forced to close, and many more threaten to nothing is done about TRAP.

Thankfully, with Governor McAuliffe’s inauguration into office in January, these detrimental and dangerous laws have a chance of being amended or even appealed. In May, the Governor asked for a review of TRAP laws, calling the regulations extreme and punitive, and emphasizing that these laws jeopardize Virginia women’s health and reproductive rights. With the Virginia Board of Health review came a public comment period in which Virginians could voice their concerns about the regulations—and the responses were overwhelmingly pro-choice. Out of approximately 14,000 comments, 10,000 of those requested that the regulations be repealed. After the 45-comment day period ended, Virginia Health Commissioner Dr. Melissa Levine announced her decision to amend TRAP laws, which is a huge step in the right direction for choice in the Commonwealth.

While Dr. Levine’s choice is certainly worth celebrating, it is important to remember that the battle for choice in Virginia is far from over. Even though Commissioner Levine decided to move forward and amend the laws, this is only the first step. Now, the Virginia Board of Health must vote on whether to accept her recommendations during its December 4th meeting. This great decision still does not erase the ugly history of extreme, anti-woman conservatism in Virginia, and does not make up for the anti-choice laws still on the books in the Commonwealth. It will take many years to undo the damage done by far-right politicians such as former Governor Bob McDonnell and former Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, without whom TRAP laws may not even exist in the first place.