Pro-choice on campus: George Mason University

By Elvira Razzano, Choice Out Loud intern at George Mason University 

After our pro-choice student organization was forced to disband in the Spring of 2013 due to a low member turnout at meetings, I was motivated to build a coalition of pro-choice students at George Mason University. I was excited to join NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia as their Choice Out Loud intern on campus, and I immediately  started  reaching out to my pro-choice friends, who donated their time to advertising my events and helped me table to recruit more pro-choice students.

Elvira Razzano on the George Mason University campus!

From the start, our biggest obstacle was the fact that our campus climate definitely leaned anti-choice; there is a registered pro-life student organization that frequently holds events on campus, most visibly by holding graphic images in the center of campus every so often. However, I knew that with enough momentum we could show George Mason University that their movement did not represent the student body as a whole.

On a rainy Friday afternoon in February, I organized a few students to counter-protest these anti-choice,  graphic images on campus. We got plenty of thumbs up and thank-yous from passersby, showing us that the student body recognized and appreciated our pro-choice efforts. It was that day that I learned that the Genocide Awareness Project, an anti-choice organization that travels to college campuses with huge graphic images that compare abortion to genocide, was coming to campus.  I knew I had to do something, so I spent most of March planning a massive counter-protest against them.

GMU Protest

Elvira organized dozens of GMU students to protest an offensive anti-choice display on campus

I’m happy to report that pro-choice students were a constant presence against the Genocide Awareness Project when they were on campus March 24th, 25th, and 26th! We held assertive signs with slogans that said “Pro Choice is not Pro Abortion,” “My Constitutional Rights Are Not Up For Debate,” and “Not Your Uterus? Not Your Decision.” We engaged in peaceful conversation with members of the Genocide Awareness Project and received overwhelming support and affirmation from the Mason community; some students were compelled to drop their things, grab a sign, and counter-protest with us.

Although the counter-protest against the Genocide Awareness Project was a huge success, it is imperative that the Mason community knows that reproductive rights are still under attack even though the Genocide Awareness Project is no longer on our campus. I am excited to spend the rest of my Choice Out Loud internship letting the Mason community know just that!

Exposing Ken Cuccinelli’s “Crisis Pregnancy Centers”

Earlier this week, we published shocking new audio from Virginia “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs). The audio – recorded undercover at two Virginia CPCs – includes a CPC staffer not only spreading misinformation about abortion, but telling a woman that the birth-control pill causes breast cancer and that condoms “don’t work.” (Download the full audio from the two visits here and here.) Centers like these receive funding from a variety of sources including “Choose Life” license plates available through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli – whose anti-choice activism has helped shut down legitimate women’s health clinics across the state – has said he was the “proud sponsor” of the legislation behind the license plates when he served in the State Senate. Through our investigation of crisis pregnancy centers in Virginia, we’ve discovered more about their deceptive tactics, the misinformation they share, and how they’re forwarding an anti-choice agenda under the guise of providing support to women facing unintended pregnancy.

Watch the video below:

UPDATE: Our video and the findings of our investigative report has already been met with outrage and shock from members of the press and public across Virginia and the country.  Check out some of the coverage and conversation happening online below:

NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue also appeared on Politics Nation with Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss our findings and the threat from crisis pregnancy centers across the country.

We can defeat Cuccinelli, but we need an army to take him on. Add your name  so we can count you among the millions of Americans who don’t stand with Cuccinelli and his lies! 

2013 Power of Choice Recap

By Caitlin Bancroft, Legal Intern

Earlier this week NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia held our third annual Power of Choice event. It was a great evening and a wonderful chance reflect, celebrate, and enjoy the company of fellow reproductive rights activists! We were very excited to have many pro-choice elected officials in attendance including: Delegate Mark Kean, Delegate Bob Brink, Senator Barbara Favola, Delegate Herring, Congresswomen Louise Slaughter, and Congresswoman Gwen Moore. It was also great to see three of our pro-choice candidates also came out to celebrate, including John Bell for the 87th, Ed Dietch for the 42nd, and Jennifer Boysko for the 86th. For those of you who were not able to make it – don’t worry! We have lots of photos and videos of the marvelous speeches.

To our delight, both Congresswomen Louis Slaughter and Gwen Moore came to speak with us about their tireless work for reproductive healthcare. Congresswoman Slaughter spoke about the radical and illogical anti-choice tactics being employed by many extremist politicians. She reminded us that it is our job as advocates is to show the extremists that there are still people who care about women’s rights and reproductive health.  You can watch her eloquent speech here.

Congresswoman Moore also gave s great speech about the need to continue the fight for reproductive justice – even after decades of tireless  advocacy. She encouraged all of us to remember that the longer our rights are attacked, the more young women are growing into pro-choice activists eager to join the cause. Her passionate talk can be heard here.

One of our favorite parts of Power of Choice is the presentation of the awards. This year we recognized two remarkable and inspirational reproductive justice advocates. The “Aggie Wolf Defender of Choice Award” was presented to Dr. Karen Remley, who served as the Virginia’s Health Commissioner under Governors Kaine and McDonnell. In 2012, Dr. Remley resigned in protest over the unethical implementation of TRAP regulations designed to eliminate abortion access. Dr. Remley embodies genuine conviction to justice and righteousness — listen to her speak about the sources of her inspiration and strength here!

We were also thrilled to honor Ms. Rosemary Codding with the “Outstanding Advocate for Choice Award.” As the director of patient services at Falls Church Healthcare Center, Rosemary is on the front line of the war to protect reproductive rights and health care.. Yet despite the danger that comes with visibility, Rosemary has spent the last eleven years working as an outspoken advocate for her patients and for all women. Her work is a testament to human resilience and compassion. Check out her moving message to other advocates here.

As many of you know, it hasn’t been the easiest couple years in Virginia  – and even the best of us are a little tired and frustrated. In times like these it is so important to remember the rejuvenating powers of community. The 3rd annual Power of Choice gave us the opportunity to celebrate the successes of the last year with so many committed reproductive justice supporters. Here at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, we are very blessed to be surrounded by incredible, brilliant spirits who constantly recharge and re-inspire us. Thank you very much to all of the powerful and dedicated people who have come out in the last year to support us. You are our strength and our inspiration. We look forward to another year of fighting for all of our rights!

2013 Gen. Assembly Review!

The 2013 General Assembly session was fast and furious! Between attacks on birth control, pro-choice repeal bills, and sneaky amendments in the works, you may be confused about what exactly this year’s GA session means for the women of Virginia. But don’t worry – we’re here to break it down.

This year pro-choice champions in the Virginia House and Senate carried a total of 11 pro-choice bills, including legislation to repeal TRAP regulations, protect birth control in the Commonwealth, and strike Virginia’s current mandatory ultrasound requirement. We also faced 5 anti-choice bills, including legislation to restrict insurance coverage for birth control, ban sex-selective abortion, and repeal Medicaid funding for women with severe fetal anomalies.

Unfortunately, despite the valiant efforts of our legislative allies and our amazing pro-choice supporters, almost all pro-choice bills were defeated this session. Virginia’s anti-choice politicians were quick to strike down critical legislation to repeal TRAP regulations and the forced ultrasound law – in one case without even allowing for debate or discussion! Thankfully, we were happy and proud to see the passage of Del. Jennifer McClellan’s bill HB 1876, a pro-choice measure that will eliminate the waiting period before sterilization for Virginia residents who have not yet had children. Currently, childless women and men in Virginia are required to wait 30 days before obtaining an elective sterilization procedure, while those with children are not. This bill makes it easier for every person to decide whether and when to create a family, and we thank Del. McClellan for her great work on this!

VirginiaStateCapitol

We are also relieved to report that despite several legislative attempts to restrict women’s health, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and our allies were able to defeat all anti-choice legislation this session – a huge win considering our overwhelming anti-choice state government!  We could not have done it without you and the hundreds of other pro-choice Virginians who contacted their representatives and demanded an end to Virginia’s War on Women. Thank you for everything you have done!

Unfortunately, while the session may have come to an end, the fight is far from over. As reported in a recent Virginian Pilot article, Governor McDonnell is quietly planning to attach an amendment to health care reform legislation that would severely restrict Virginian women’s ability to access critical health care. Although we were able to defeat all anti-choice bills at the committee level, Governor McDonnell would attach his amendment to a bill that has already cleared both the House and Senate – and would go to a vote by both chambers during the General Assembly’s veto session at the end of March. Get more information McDonnnell’s behind-the-scenes abortion ban – and help us fight back!   

Ultimately, beyond the legislative antics and extreme anti-choice rhetoric (check out this gem from Sen. Dick Black), every General Assembly session reminds us of how lucky we are to work with Virginia’s amazing, passionate, and unstoppable pro-choice activists! This year we stood with you in Richmond to honor 40 years of Roe v. Wade, participated in a super successful Pro-Choice Day of Action, and even took to twitter to fight for increased health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of Virginia’s women and families.

We look forward to your support, activism, and enthusiasm as we continue the fight for reproductive rights in the Commonwealth!

Governor McDonnell’s Behind-the-Scenes Abortion Ban

Last year, Governor McDonnell faced statewide and national outrage (not to mention ridicule and mockery from the unforgiving world of late-night television) after pushing egregious legislative attacks on the women of Virginia. You would think that after the barrage of media scrutiny and an outpouring of fury from Virginian women, McDonnell might have learned some sort of lesson. Maybe, just maybe, we thought, he would start to trust women to make our own decisions about our bodies, our health, and our lives. Apparently not.

According to the Virginian Pilot, Governor McDonnell is quietly planning a last-minute maneuver to severely restrict Virginian women’s access to health care. How? By attaching anti-choice amendments to H.B.1900 and S.B.921, legislation to implement the Virginia health insurance exchange as set out under the Affordable Care Act.

As part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) all states must construct and/or participate in a health insurance exchange.  This exchange is intended to function as a virtual marketplace, where small businesses and individuals will be able to shop for appropriate and affordable health care. Like all other states, Virginia was given the option to create our own exchange or operate under the federally-run program. Governor McDonnell chose the federal option – with a few exceptions.

According to a letter sent from McDonnell to DC officials yesterday, Virginia will participate in the federal exchange, BUT will maintain decision-making authority over which health care plans are able to participate. As he explains, Virginia state government will continue to have oversight of “whether a health plan or issuer meets particular certification standards”. And his first rule? You guessed it…no coverage for women’s health.

If enacted, McDonnell’s planned amendment would prohibit insurance providers from offering policies in the exchange that cover abortion – coverage that currently exists in almost 90% of plans sold in the private market. In other words, McDonnell’s amendment would make it difficult to impossible for small businesses and individual Virginian women to purchase abortion coverage with private dollars. Instead of improved access to health care (as intended by the Affordable Care Act) many women would see their coverage slashed.

Let’s be clear – this amendment has nothing to do with eliminating public funding for abortion. Obama’s Affordable Care Act already has strict provisions to ensure that no public funds are spent on abortion, and Virginia law already prohibits public funding for abortion except in rare and life-threatening cases. Instead, Governor McDonnell’s amendment would restrict Virginians from purchasing a comprehensive insurance policy with their own private dollars. This is not a matter of government funding, but rather a question of private money – and how the women of Virginia can spend it.

my body my money my choice

We here at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia believe firmly that a woman who decides to have an abortion has the same rights as any other patient seeking any other outpatient procedure. Like every other Virginian, she deserves equal access to the health care she needs.

Furthermore, we know that banning insurance coverage does not reduce the need for abortions; it only creates dangerous outcomes for Virginia women, some of whom may be facing complex and risky pregnancies. While no woman plans on having an abortion,  it is important that she can count on her insurance to cover a full range of health care options. Every Virginian -  every woman -  deserves the ability to make his or her own private medical decisions without interference from the government.

That’s why we are calling on the women of Virginia (and the men who love them) to flood Governor McDonnell’s office with emails and phone calls in opposition to this dangerous amendment. It’s easy to take a stand – simply click here, personalize your message to Governor McDonnell, and enter your name in the box. Then tell your friends, your family members, and your social media contacts (we know you’ve got them) to do the same!

Although this amendment is a clear and outrageous attack on women’s health, Governor McDonnell knows that most Virginians don’t pay attention to every bill that goes through the General Assembly – let alone every amendment. He is counting on this lack of knowledge, which is exactly why we need to expose how dangerous, underhanded, and restrictive this amendment is. Please join NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in taking action now. Together, we will tell Governor McDonnell: Our body, our money, our choice!

Tell Your Senator to Pass Pro-Choice Legislation NOW!

If we are going to have a shot at turning back last year’s overwhelming tide of anti-choice legislation, we need your help right nowOver the past two years, Virginia’s  lawmakers have passed some of the most stringent restrictions on  reproductive rights in the county.  We all remember 2012′s outright War on Virginia Women: attempts to grant “personhood” status to fertilized eggs, attempts to force trans-vaginal ultrasounds on women seeking safe legal abortion care, and even a bill to ban abortion outright at 20 weeks – with no real exemption for the health or life of the mother.

Now, we’re fighting back. Our pro-choice allies in the General Assembly have introduced legislation to protect women’s rights, ensure access to reproductive health care, and repeal the worst of last year’s attacks:

  • Sen. Ralph Northam and Sen. Barbara Favola have introduced legislation  (SB 1080 and SB 1082) in the Senate to repeal Virginia’s invasive forced ultrasound law, which currently forces Virginia women to undergo a mandatory ultrasound 24 hours before accessing her constitutionally-protected right to an abortion.
  • Sen. Mark Herring has introduced SB 1115 and SB 1116, which would repeal and negate onerous and burdensome targeted regulations (TRAP)  on women’s health centers in Virginia. If not repealed, TRAP regulations will likely force the majority of Virginia’s women’s health clinics to shut their doors.
  • Sen. Donald McEachin has introduced the Birth Control Protection Act (SB 783), to formally distinguish between FDA-approved methods of contraception and abortion. Without a formal definition, anti-choice lawmakers can continue to blur the line between birth control and abortion, and may attempt to restrict birth control as stringently as abortion.

If passed, these bills will help restore reproductive rights, protect women’s health, and  make a positive difference for thousands of Virginian women. But first, each bill must be passed by the Senate Education and Health Committee if they are to continue to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Every one of our pro-choice bills in the Senate (including every one mentioned above) will be heard in the Senate Ed & Health committee this Thursday, January 17. If these important bills have even the slightest shot at becoming law, they must be approved by Committee on Thursday.

TAKE ACTION NOW: If your Senator serves on this committee,  tell him or her to support these critical pro-choice bills! Here is the list of Senators on the Education and Health Committee who will be considering these bills:

If you are unsure who your Senator is, please go here to find out. 

If your Senator is serving on the Ed & Health Committee (and will be voting on these bills Thursday), now is the time to CONTACT. Email or call your Senator and urge them to vote in support of these bills and send this important legislation to the Senate floor! 

Sample letter to your Senator:

Dear Senator [NAME],

As your constituent, I’m contacting you today to urge you to vote in support of SB 1082, SB 1080, SB . 1115, SB 1116 and SB 783. If passed these bills will protect reproductive rights, repeal Virginia’s most burdensome and unnecessary restrictions on women’s health, and increase access to essential medical care for thousands of Virginian women.

Currently, Virginia’s forced ultrasound law inappropriately inserts the government into the homes and doctor’s offices of women and their families.  This law marks the first time the Virginia General Assembly has mandated a diagnostic test that supersedes a doctor’s advice and a patient’s consent, and represents a significant road block for women seeking to access their constitutionally protect right to an abortion. SB 1080 and SB 1082 would repeal and negate this law and ensure that Virginian women are given the support and respect they deserve.  Please vote in favor of these bills.

Senate Bill 1115 and Senate Bill 1116 would eliminate the law passed in 2011 that requires women’s health clinics to comply with the construction standards of new hospitals.  Targeted regulations on abortion providers (TRAP) are burdensome, medically unnecessary, and nothing but a thinly-veiled attempt to shut down Virginia’s women’s health clinics.  First trimester abortions are among the safest of all medical procedures, and  Virginia’s women’s health centers  have exemplary health records and have been inspected and listened by the Virginia Department of Health. If passed, SB 1115 and SB 1116 would ensure that the majority of women’s health centers remain open and continue to provide essential medical care. Please support these bills.

Finally, please vote in favor of SB 783, the Birth Control Protection Act. Currently, the Code of Virginia does not distinguish between FDA-approved methods of contraception and abortion. In absence of a clear definition, there have been attempts to blur the lines between contraception and abortion, as well as limit access to family planning services under the code section relating to abortion. Contraception is basic health care for women, and is used by virtually every sexually active woman of reproductive age.  It is essential that birth control remains safe, accessible, and affordable for the women of Virginia.

Again, I urge you to stand with the women of Virginia and your district in supporting these critically important bills.

Sincerely,

[Your name]

[Your home address]

Thank you for taking action! Please help us spread the word to your Virginia friends, neighbors, and family members. To stay updated, “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for up-to-the minute news from the halls of the General Assembly. And don’t forget to join us and hundreds of other pro-choice Virginians to mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade at the “Rally for Choice” at the Capitol in Richmond on Tuesday, January 22 at 10 a.m!

Get ready to vote pro-choice in 2012, Virginia!

The 2012 General Election is November 6, 2012! Mark your calendars and read on for the information you need to make sure you’re ready to vote. Voting for pro-choice candidates in each and every election is one of the most important ways you can take action to protect reproductive freedom in Virginia and nationwide.

First things first — make sure you’re registered, your information is up-to-date, and you know where to vote!

Check to see if you’re registered in Virginia and if your information is up to date with this handy tool on the Virginia Board of Elections website. Make sure no changes need to be made to your voter registration information (because you have moved, had a name change, etc.).

If you are not currently registered or if changes such as address or name updates need to be made to your voter information, you must submit the application by Monday, October 15 (22 days before the election). This means that your application must be in the mail and postmarked (or delivered in person to your local registrar’s office) by that date. Download the voter application form here [pdf]. If you do not receive a Voter Card in the mail within 30 days after applying, contact your city or county voter registration office or the State Board of Elections.

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What does yesterday’s election mean for choice?

By staff

Yesterday was one of the biggest elections for choice in Virginia in the past few years.

From 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. voters across the state went to the polls to vote on all 140 General Assembly seats.

At stake this year was the state Senate, which is currently mixed-choice. This means that when choice-related bills come to the floor of the Senate, we do not have a reliable pro-choice majority to defeat them. We saw the consequences of this situation in January with a 20-20 tie vote to approve new regulations singling out Virginia abortion providers – anti-choice Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling cast the deciding vote to approve the bill and Virginia now faces the strictest abortion regulations in the country. (PDF)

So where does yesterday’s election leave us?

As of this posting, one key Senate race remains too close to call. In Senate District 17, in the city of Fredericksburg and Orange, Spotsylvania, Culpeper, Louisa and Albermarle counties, staunchly anti-choice candidate Bryce Reeves is unofficially leading dedicated pro-choice champion Senator Edd Houck – by 86 votes. Senator Houck is entitled to a recount.

Whatever happens in Senator Houck’s race, next year’s Virginia state Senate will still not have a reliable pro-choice majority. Senators Charles Colgan (District 29) and Phil Puckett (District 38), who won their reelection bids, are mixed-choice and voted for several anti-choice bills in the 2012 General Assembly session. (PDF)

What is most distressing is what could happen to the Senate Committee on Education and Health where all choice-related bills go.

Currently Senator Houck is the chair of this committee, which has a majority of strong pro-choice champions. The committee is often the last chance in the General Assembly to stop dangerous anti-choice legislation from moving forward. What is uncertain at this point is how that committee could look next year.

The battle for women’s health in Virginia will continue to be hard-fought in the years ahead, and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, our activists and our allies will continue mobilizing and fighting government intrusion of women’s private medical decisions.

On that note, we wish to congratulate NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC’s endorsed candidates who won their races yesterday.

In the House of Delegates, we congratulate:

  • Delegate Mark Keam, District 35
  • Delegate Ken Plum, District 36
  • Delegate David Bulova, District 37
  • Delegate Kaye Kory, District 38
  • Delegate Vivian Watts, District 39
  • Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, District 41
  • Delegate Mark Sickles, District 43
  • Delegate Scott Surovell, District 44
  • Delegate David Englin, District 45
  • Delegate Charniele Herring, District 46
  • Delegate Patrick Hope, District 47
  • Delegate Robert Brink, District 48
  • Alfonso Lopez, District 49
  • Delegate James Scott, District 53
  • Delegate David Toscano, District 57
  • Delegate Betsy Carr, District 69
  • Delegate Jennifer McClellan, District 71
  • Delegate Mamye BaCote, District 95

In the state Senate, we congratulate:

  • Senator John Miller, District 1
  • Senator Mamie Locke, District 2
  • Senator Ralph Northam, District 6
  • Senator Donald McEachin, District 9
  • Senator John Edwards, District 21
  • Delegate Adam Ebbin, District 30
  • Barbara Favola, District 31
  • Senator Janet Howell, District 32
  • Senator Mark Herring, District 33
  • Senator Dick Saslaw, District 35
  • Senator Toddy Puller, District 36
  • Senator Dave Marsden, District 37
  • Senator George Barker, District 39

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC and our activists worked tirelessly in the last few months to protect and elect pro-choice champions. We look forward to continuing to work with our allies in 2012.

Stay tuned for further analysis of what the election results mean for choice over the coming days.

Pro-choice champions under attack

By: Staff

Just over a month away from the November 8 statewide election in Virginia, anti-choice politicians and groups are pulling out all the stops. Their ultimate goal – to take over the General Assembly and pursue an aggressive campaign to undermine women’s health.

In Senate District 17 in Fredericksburg, long-time pro-choice champion Edd Houck is facing anti-choice challenger Bryce Reeves.

Senator Houck, who has served in the state Senate since 1984, is the chair of the Senate Committee on Education and Health – the committee where bills dealing with reproductive choice end up in the Virginia Senate. Senator Houck is 100-percent pro-choice and has stood up to all manner of attacks on women’s health throughout the years.

Unfortunately, anti-choice groups are doing everything they can to unseat this champion for women’s health.

NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC are working tirelessly in the coming weeks to protect and elect politicians that will stand up for women, rather than sacrificing women’s health for politics. For a full list of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia PAC’s endorsed candidates, visit our endorsement page.

Make sure you register to vote or update you registration through the State Board of Elections.

Polls are open from 6 AM to 7 PM across the state on Tuesday, November 8. Be sure to head to the polls and cast your vote for General Assembly members who will stand up for the women of Virginia.

For more information, be sure to visit our Political Updates page.

To get involved in electing pro-choice champions, contact info@naralva.org

Paid for by NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. Not authorized by a candidate or candidate campaign.

Calling out the intention of new abortion regulations

We are just over one week out from the September 15 Board of Health meeting in which the Board will vote on new, draft regulations on women’s health centers in Virginia.

Since the Virginia Department of Health issued draft regulations a couple of weeks ago, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia has been working hard as part of the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health to make sure women in Virginia have continued access to vital reproductive health care. (For an explanation of the regulatory process check out one of our recent blog posts.)

Now that the regulations are public, people are starting to recognize the detrimental effects the draft regulations could have for Virginia women.

This past weekend, the editorial board at The Washington Post called out the intent of the regulations:

“[I]t is hard to imagine why groups that say they are concerned about women’s health would oppose these standards,” the Virginia Catholic Conference said in a statement.

Actually, it’s not hard to imagine at all, because the standards are not really about safety. They are unjustifiably stringent and could force abortion facilities to shut their doors.

A couple of days later, The Virginian-Pilot editorial board had a similar reaction, noting

New regulations proposed for abortion clinics across Virginia would, indeed, tighten standards for patient safety and require a higher level of care.

They would increase the scope and depth of required record-keeping. They would also reduce Virginians’ access to first-trimester abortions.

The piece in The Virginian-Pilot goes on to challenge the supporters of new regulations:

Supporters’ claims that legislation requiring the new regulations was animated by concern for patient safety aren’t fooling anyone. If that were the motive, the law would have been aimed at raising the level of care at every outpatient surgical center across the state rather than simply those that perform five or more first-trimester abortions each month.

And earlier today, Delegate Ken Plum, D-Fairfax, weighed in on the proposed regulations:

At the same time that regulations to ensure that your water is safe to drink and that air pollution be cleaned up are being challenged as being anti-business and government intrusion, stiff regulations to protect women from unspecified health damages while reducing their access to a legal medical procedure are being advanced.

To learn more about how proposed regulations could harm the health of Virginia women, check out the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women’s Health.

And be sure to join us if you can at the September Board of Health meeting in Richmond as we ask the Board only to support new regulations based in medicine, not in dangerous politics.