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Virginia Gets a Failing Grade
Virginia's many restrictions on reproductive rights and lack of pro-choice policies earn an "F" in NARAL Pro-Choice America's annual rating of states' laws.


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Support critical pro-choice legislation THURSDAY!

This Thursday (Feb. 6th) the Senate Committee on Education and Health will consider pro-choice proposals to repeal Virginia's mandatory ultrasound and overturn the current abortion coverage ban. This is our one and only chance to advance these critical bills to the full Senate – and your legislators need to hear from you NOW!

Contact the Senate Education & Health Committee and urge them to support SB 617, SB 618 and SB 646! 

Senate Education & Health Committee:

Overturn Virginia's abortion coverage ban:

Background:  Last year the Virginia General Assembly narrowly passed an amendment by Governor McDonnell to prohibit insurance companies from selling coverage for abortion through the federal health exchange. As a result, Virginians currently purchasing healthcare through the newly-enacted Affordable Care Act are banned from using their private money to purchase a comprehensive plan that provides coverage for abortion – a common benefit included in the majority of private insurance policies!

Why support SB 618 and SB 646: 

  • We may not all feel the same way about abortion, but we should all agree that a woman who decides she needs an abortion deserves access to safe and legal medical care. If women do not have health insurance coverage for abortion, they may get unsafe abortions from unlicensed providers that could put their lives in danger.

  • It’s wrong for the government to take away insurance coverage for a legal medical procedure. Since insurance companies are willing to provide coverage, politicians shouldn't interfere. Politicians should not be able to stop private insurance companies that want to cover abortion from doing so.

  • The Affordable Care Act already prohibits government subsidies from being used to purchase abortion coverage.

Learn more about attacks on insurance coverage for abortion nationwide and the status of abortion coverage under the Affordable Care Act from NARAL Pro-Choice America. Check out the TRUTH about Virginia's ban, here. 

Repeal the mandatory ultrasound law: 

Background: The 2012 Virginia General Assembly required every woman undergoing an abortion to have an ultrasound 24 hours prior to her procedure to determine the age of the fetus. The law is intended to shame, judge, and make a woman change her mind by requiring doctors to provide the woman with the option to view the ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat. This offer must be documented and kept in the patient’s medical record. The law also directs the Department of Health to compile a list of non-medical facilities that offer free ultrasounds and directs doctors to offer this information to their patients. The law went into effect on July 1, 2012.

Why support SB 617:

  • S.B 617 is a common-sense bill to repeal Virginia’s invasive and insulting mandatory ultrasound ban and improve access to healthcare for thousands of women and families. If passed,SB 617 would return private medical decisions back to patients and doctors – and get politicians out of Virginians’ personal healthcare choices.

  • Requiring an ultrasound before abortion is about political interference, not informed consent. Information should not be provided with the intent or result of shaming, judging, or making a woman change her mind.

  • We may not all feel the same way about abortion, but we can agree that these are personal, private decisions between a woman, her family, her faith, and her doctor. Women don’t turn to politicians for advice about mammograms, prenatal care, or cancer treatments, and politicians should not interfere in this private medical decision.

For more information on mandatory ultrasound laws - in Virginia and across the country - see here

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