By Nicole Linder, Fall 2014 Advocacy & Communications Intern. Connect with Nicole at @NALinder or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Virginia Commissioner of Health Dr. Marissa Levine gave her two-cents about the medically unnecessary restrictions on Virginia women’s health centers, known as Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) laws.
On October 1st, the commissioner announced her decision to amend the restrictions that have put numerous health clinics out of business and, more importantly, thousands of Virginia women in jeopardy.
Levine’s decision comes almost five months after Governor McAuliffe ordered an official review of Virginia’s abortion clinic regulations.
McAuliffe was quoted in the Huffington Post saying he was, “concerned that the extreme and punitive regulations adopted last year jeopardize the ability of most women’s health centers to keep their doors open and place in jeopardy the health and reproductive rights of Virginia women.”
In the months since the Governor’s review was ordered, thousands of Virginians has expressed their concerns about TRAP and the need for revision. Commissioner Levine, herself, received more than 10,000 comments on the issue with 80 percent of them in favor of an amendment.
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia– along with our friends at ProgressVA, ACLU of Virginia and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia– delivered 4,844 anti-TRAP comments to the Virginia Department of Health back in July.
Although we at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia are pleased with Commissioner Levine’s decision to amend TRAP, there is still a long road ahead before we can say that all women’s health centers in Virginia are protected.
The Board of Health must now vote on whether or not to accept the Commissioner’s recommendations and start the amendment process. During this decision, it’s crucial for all Virginians to speak out against TRAP and speak up about protecting women’s healthcare services.
Please share the following photo and use the hashtag #scrapTRAP when commenting on the issue.
Thank you again, Commissioner Levine for deciding that it’s time to #scrapTRAP!