CONTACTS: Alena Yarmosky, alena@naralva.org, (240-595-2972), Anna Scholl, anna@progressva.org, (540-460-1269)

Richmond, VA – This morning, a House subcommittee voted to advance H.B. 1090, a bill to gut funding for comprehensive reproductive health care and restrict access to safe, legal abortion for Virginia women.

H.B. 1090, sponsored by Delegate Ben Cline, prohibits the Virginia Department of Health from granting funds to any health care providers that perform abortion, effectively defunding Planned Parenthood health centers and gutting funding for a wide variety of Virginia hospitals and community health centers. In addition, the bill would strip Medicaid coverage for low-income women who are seeking abortion due to a totally incapacitating fetal abnormality, virtually forcing low-income women to carry severely-incapacitated fetuses to term.

“It is 2016. The women of Virginia need more access to care, not less,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia. “The women, men and young people who come to Planned Parenthood health centers each year are not coming to make a political statement. They’re coming because they need high quality, affordable health care from the provider they trust.HB1090 is just the latest another example of politicians interfering with women’s health.We need to trust and respect women to make their own private, personal health care decisions, and that includes selecting their own health care providers.”

“This is a direct attack on the most vulnerable of Virginians,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Not only would this bill defund Planned Parenthood – a trusted, high-quality health care provider for thousands of Virginians – it would also gut funding for comprehensive health care clinics that provide critical care for our most underserved families. In addition, by removing abortion coverage for the most vulnerable of women, this cruel bill would virtually force low-income women facing tragic pregnancy complications to carry severely-incapacitated fetuses to term. Once again, anti-women’s health legislators have no shame in attacking the rights and health of women – and particularly low-income women, young women, and women of color.”

“Right wing extremists are so intent on cutting off women’s access to health care, they’ve now gone beyond just blocking women’s access to safe and legal abortion and are now trying to defund some of the largest front line medical providers in the state, including the VCU and UVA hospitals,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of Progress VA. “These delegates should be ashamed of themselves for voting to cut off health care access for their own constituents.”

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