Richmond, Va. – The Pro-Choice Coalition stands with Delegate Kathy Tran and supports the REPEAL Act, HB2491, which was killed in a House Courts of Justice subcommittee on Monday afternoon. The REPEAL Act would repeal the medically-unnecessary and overly burdensome regulations on abortion facilities that create barriers to access.
“Delegate Kathy Tran is a champion for women in Virginia, and we thank her for standing up for what is right,” said Missy Wesolowski, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia. “A patient and their doctor are best suited to weigh the medical and personal circumstances of a pregnancy. Politicians have no business interfering in those decisions, and we appreciate Delegate Tran’s efforts to remove politicians from the process.”
“We’re proud to stand with Delegate Kathy Tran and her legislation to repeal politically-motivated restrictions on safe and legal abortion. In spite of attempts by anti-women’s health politicians to manipulate her words, the truth remains that Virginia women know that private, personal medical decisions should be between a woman and her doctor,” Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, said. “No one can know a woman’s unique circumstances when she becomes pregnant, and we trust women to make decisions about their health care needs. Shame on politicians like Todd Gilbert and Kirk Cox for trying to distract us from the real issue here: getting politics out of the doctor’s office.”
“Anti-choice politicians need to end their relentless efforts to legislate a woman’s body when a woman’s health or life are at risk and leave medical decisions to the sound professional judgement of her doctor,” said Tarina Keene, executive director at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Virginia has a third trimester abortion ban except in cases were a woman’s life or health is in imminent danger. The REPEAL Act (HB2491) simply removes the unnecessary requirement that two additional physicians certify the needed and timely abortion procedure that could save a woman’s life. In this time-sensitive and tragic circumstance, physicians, not politicians, are best equipped to determine what is best for their patient when her life is on the line. Anti-abortion legislators are willing to let a woman die or be severely maimed by insisting she wait unnecessarily for additional approval for the abortion that may come too late. What’s even more outlandish is the fact that the anti-choice politicians which orchestrated this obvious ambush of Delegate Tran are now proudly fundraising off of their bullying efforts. It is a disgusting ploy to attack a mother of four using misinformation and to leave her to Internet trolls to lob death threats at her and her young family for political gain. What we really need are laws that protect and empower women with the full range of medical options not punitive restrictions that tie doctors hands and harm women and families.”
“We stand with Delegate Kathy Tran and her work to ensure all Virginians have access to the reproductive healthcare we need, including abortion,” said Margie Del Castillo with the NLIRH Virginia Latina Advocacy Network. “Obstacles including cultural and linguistic differences, and well as restrictions based on age, economic status, immigration status, and geographic location often prohibit many women, especially Latinas and other women of color, from obtaining safe abortion services and from exercising our reproductive freedom. Additionally, with today’s political climate, preserving women’s reproductive rights is of utmost importance. For those reasons and more, we support this bill and will continue to build a more just and equitable landscape in VA where reproductive healthcare is accessible and affordable for all.”
The REPEAL Act is about removing political interference between a woman and her doctor. Had it passed, HB2491 would have repealed medically unnecessary restrictions for women seeking access to safe and legal abortion including a 24-hour mandatory delay. Abortion should be safe, legal and accessible and this legislation is about removing restrictions that single out abortion care and have the legislature and not medical standards dictating protocols. Making access to abortion-related services more difficult at any stage in pregnancy does not reduce a person’s need to seek an abortion service. Over 90% of abortions are done in the 1st trimester of pregnancy, but extenuating circumstances sometimes make abortion necessary later in pregnancy. HB2491 would have retained provisions in current Virginia code that allow abortions later in pregnancy in a limited number of circumstances when health or life is at risk, while removing politically-motivated roadblocks that attempt to insert politicians’ judgment in place of that of medical professionals.