The Virginia General Assembly began this past Wednesday. Only three days in, anti-choice lawmakers wasted no time ignoring the economy, education and transportation and instead working to intrude in the personal, medical decisions of Virginia women and families.
In case you missed it, here is an overview of this week in Richmond.
Allies fight back against birth control ban
Back in November, Delegate Bob Marshall continued his unending quest to interfere in the medical decisions of Virginians when he pre-filed the first bill for the 2012 session. HB 1 brings the “personhood” debate to Virginia and is so extreme it could ban the most effective forms of birth control as well as outlaw abortion in all cases, even when a woman is the victim of rape or incest.
This week, pro-choice allies in the Virginia General Assembly spoke out against the dangerous consequences of HB 1. Delegate Charniele Herring and Senator Donald McEachin called the bill exactly what it is in an article appearing in The Virginian-Pilot:
Del. Charniele Herring, D-Alexandria, called it “reckless and divisive” and “an abhorrent attack on women’s rights.”
State Sen. Donald McEachin, D-Richmond, said the Marshall bill is part of a broad assault on abortion rights by Republicans at the state and federal levels, noting that some GOP presidential contenders have expressed sympathy for such measures.
We want to send a shout out to our allies, especially Delegate Herring and Senator McEachin for speaking out against HB 1. We know most Virginians reject Delegate Marshall’s dangerous proposal and we will continue getting the word out across the state about this extreme bill. Learn how you can get involved at our “personhood” page.
More obstacles for Virginia women
While NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and our allies fight for expanded and affordable access to healthcare for Virginia women, anti-choice politicians create more obstacles to timely healthcare.
Three days into the 2012 session and we already have four anti-choice bills that interfere in the doctor-patient relationship.
In the House of Delegates, Delegate Mark Cole and Delegate Kathy Byron have filed bills mandating women have ultrasounds prior to obtaining abortion care. Both bills require waiting periods between the ultrasound and the abortion procedure (with Delegate Cole’s bill requiring a waiting period of 48 hours). This will be Delegate Byron’s fifth attempt at passing such legislation.
Anti-choice Senators Ralph Smith and Jill Vogel filed similar bills on the Senate side.
Virginia women should have the option of an ultrasound if they request it or if their doctor recommends it. Politicians should not be allowed to put their agenda in the examining room with the doctor and the patient and add yet another financial and logistical obstacle for women seeking abortion care.
We have our work cut out for us this session, but we know pro-choice Virginia is strong. Be sure to keep up with the latest happenings in Richmond on our General Assembly page or on Facebook and Twitter.