Lesson Learned

By: Brett Copeland, League of Young Leaders (LoYL) Co-Chair

Guest Blogger

Last week I went to my first volunteer training with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. Frankly, it left me appalled and inspired—appalled at how much anti-choice activity is going on in the state at any one time and inspired that I now know how to do something about it.

Joey Richards, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s Program and Communications Manager, connected the dots for us, from the legislative achievements for the year to anti-choice officials’ radical social agenda and, lastly, Senate Bill 924.

The largest lesson I learned from the orientation was that the battle for choice is being waged at the state-level, everyday, all the time. Out-of-touch members of the Virginia General Assembly have proven they are not afraid to champion their anti-choice crusade from the seat of elected power—to the detriment of men and women all over Virginia.

SB 924 is so disturbing because it will force in-office providers to be defined as a category of hospital—but only for abortion providers. Anti-choice lawmakers could not be clearer—they are going to strip away fundamental reproductive human rights, and they are going to do it through shady political maneuvering right under the noses of citizens.

The silent assault they perpetrated puts choice at a higher risk in Virginia than it has been for a long time—17 of the 21 clinics that provide valuable healthcare services to Virginians may close due to SB 924. It would be a devastating moment for healthcare in Virginia. The worst part is that there is only a small window for our public comment.

So what exactly can we do about it? For starters, we can contact Governor McDonnell and ask him to veto the new abortion restrictions. We can write letters to local papers to let our officials know these unprecedented and reckless attacks on women’s healthcare will not stand. We can also be prepared to attend the September 15 Board of Health meeting. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to learning more about what’s next by attending more NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia trainings. Will you join me?

*To sign up to volunteer or attend an upcoming orientation and training, contact Joey*

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