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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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Healthy Women, Healthy Families
The Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition's 2014 "Healthy Women, Healthy Families" agenda includes the following legislative priorities:
- Medicaid Expansion: Expanding Medicaid in Virginia will not only create jobs and save the Commonwealth money, but will also provide much needed health care access to over 110,000 Virginia women of reproductive age. At least one in ten women nationally rely on Medicaid to access life-saving cancer screenings and mammograms. If Virginia refuses to expand Medicaid, at least 115,000 Virginia women of reproductive age will fall in the so-called "Medicaid Gap”, wherein they earn too much to quality for Virginia’s very low Medicaid threshold, but not enough to qualify for tax credits to purchase insurance on the exchange.
- FAMIS MOMS and Plan First Funds: Due to budget cuts, FAMIS MOMS, which provides health care coverage to low-income, pregnant women, ceased enrollment on January 1st. Plan First, which provides family planning services to low-income men and women, is now operating with reduced eligibility. Healthy pregnancies mean healthy babies and infant mortality in the first year of life. Access to health care during pregnancy significantly decreases the risks for complications and unhealthy outcomes, including low-birth weight babies. Plan First has proven effective at reducing the number of unintended pregnancies across the Commonwealth. The program saved the state $2.5M annually in 2008 and 2009.
- Repeal Mandatory Ultrasound: The 2012 mandatory ultrasound statute is the only state law to mandate a medical procedure and is intended to shame and coerce women regarding their private health care decisions. Politicians should not interfere in personal decisions that are between a woman, her family, her faith, and her doctor.
- Repeal Abortion Insurance Coverage Ban: A 2013 Governor’s amendment to the new insurance exchange prohibits insurance companies from offering, and individuals from purchasing, insurance coverage for abortion. Prior to this amendment, over 80% of private health insurance plans in Virginia covered abortion. A woman should be able to get the safe, legal medical care she needs—no matter where her insurance comes from.