HB 963 reported out of House subcommittee, appears poised to head to full floor

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

HB 963 was originally slated to be heard on Monday, but Committee Chair Delegate Albo postponed a vote until this afternoon after disagreeing with sponsor Delegate LaRock over a proposed bill substitute. In a highly unusual move, LaRock and Albo worked together on the updated version of the bill, which was drafted without the consultation of a single woman or doctor.

Throughout the course of the two-hour hearing, legislators repeatedly ignored testimony from women, doctors and legal experts who packed the room to oppose the bill. Chairman Delegate Albo even interrupted a woman who was tearfully sharing her own later abortion story due to severe fetal abnormality, an abortion that would have been banned under the proposed law.

“Today, three male legislators disregarded medicine, constitutional law, and the health and rights of hundreds of thousands of Virginia women,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “It is unbelievable that — even after hearing heartfelt stories from women who had made the decision to access abortion after 20 weeks — these legislators would still choose to pass a bill designed solely to shame women and restrict access to critical health care.

While women should not have to justify their personal medical decisions, the reality is that abortion later in pregnancy is very rare and often happens under complex circumstances — the kind of situations where a woman and her doctor need every medical option available. I can assure you that NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia will not stop standing with Virginia women regardless of their circumstances, and we will do everything possible to ensure this cruel ban does not become law.”

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