At start of 2016 legislative session, 52 lawmakers signify support for women’s health, rights, and dignity

Richmond, VA – This morning, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia joined Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and members of the General Assembly to unveil a 2016 “Statement of Intent” in support of women’s health and rights.

The Statement – which was unveiled on the first day of the 2016 legislative session and signed by 52 Virginia legislators – demonstrates its signatories’ steadfast support for 2016 policies that reaffirm Virginia women’s constitutional rights and expand access to the full range of reproductive health care for women, their partners, and their families.

“After a year of hateful rhetoric, domestic terrorism at women’s health centers, and increasing attacks on women’s health and rights across the country, we are here today to take a bold stand in support of Virginia’s women and families,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “The principles outlined in this Statement are commonsense, mainstream values that are held by a vast majority of Virginians – and it is past time that members of the General Assembly headed the voices of their constituents.”

“Polling consistently shows that 7 in 10 Virginians support access to safe, legal abortion,” Keene continued. “That’s why, while NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia sincerely thanks the 52 legislators who have signed onto this Statement thus far, I want to take the time to publicly urge every single Virginia lawmaker – Republican or Democrat – to add their name. It is past time that our legislature stood with the vast majority of Virginians and put an end to anti-women rhetoric, harassment, and legislative attacks.”

Governor Terry McAuliffe also announced his support for the Statement of Intent. “When I ran for Governor, I promised to protect and expand a woman’s right to make her own health care choices,” McAuliffe said. “I’m proud that we have kept that promise over the past two years. Affordable access to reproductive health care is a constitutional right, and this session we will continue to support that right and defeat any effort to inject government into decisions that women make with their doctors.As your Governor, I am proud that we have kept that promise over the past two years, and I will continue to do so over the next two.”

A September 2015 survey conducted by Greenberg Quinian Rosner found that 7 in 10 Virginians support access to safe, legal abortion. For a full list of legislators who have signed onto the 2015 “Statement of Intent” – out of the 140 members invited – please see here.

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Contact: Alena Yarmosky, alena@naralva.org, (240-595-2972)

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