Virginia Legislature Advances Bills to Loosen Abortion Restrictions

The Virginia state Capitol building is surrounded by fencing, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020 in Richmond, Va. (Dean Hoffmeyer/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

Two years after the Virginia legislature declared Jan. 22—the Roe v. Wade anniversary—as the “Day of Tears in Virginia,” in memory of “the innocents who have lost their lives to abortion,” the Democrat-controlled governing body is poised to dismantle the state’s pro-life protections.

Liberals hit the trifecta in November after voters there secured Democratic majorities in both the House of Delegates and state Senate, erecting an impenetrable wall with Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam—for the first time in nearly three decades.

Last week, a House committee advanced a bill to the floor that would allow nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives to perform first-trimester abortions while eliminating regulations mandating a 24-hour waiting period and ultrasounds before such procedures. It would also roll back a law requiring clinics performing more than a few abortions a month have hospital-equivalent facility standards.

Additionally, all health coverage plans would be required to cover the costs of services, drugs, devices and procedures related to abortions under the umbrella of reproductive health.

“We’d had decades of barriers and restrictions put up here in the Commonwealth and so we have a lot of work to do,” Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, told NPR’s WAMU 88.5.

State Sen. Jennifer B. Boysko, a chief co-sponsor of one of the bills, said the legislation “will remove political interference between a woman and her doctor. We are going to say goodbye to treating abortion providers differently from other health-care providers.

“The bottom line here is once a woman decides to have an abortion, it should be safe, it should be affordable, it should be free of punishment or judgment.”

Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, called the bill “deceptive.”

“It suggests that women … cannot understand the warnings we are given,” she said. “We are not children, and we can make our own decisions. Twenty-four hours is not too long to wait.”

In a statement following the committee’s vote, Victoria Cobb, president of the conservative Family Foundation, questioned the legislature’s motives.

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Source: Christian Headlines