Alexandria, VA, November 9, 2019 — NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia is thrilled to congratulate Virginia House Minority leader Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, who was elected by her caucus on Saturday to become the next Speaker of the House and has made history as the Commonwealth’s first female speaker. We are also pleased to congratulate House Democratic Caucus Chair, Del. Charniele Herring, in her historic victory to become the first woman, and the first African American to serve as Majority Leader for the Virginia House of Delegates.

Delegate Filler-Corn is a staunch defender of and advocate for reproductive freedom and has remained committed to protecting women’s access to reproductive healthcare during her time in the House and as Virginia House minority leader. As a patron of the No Co-Pay Contraceptive Access Act, Delegate Filler-Corn fought tirelessly to protect access to affordable birth control for all Virginians, in response to the Trump Administration’s attempt to gut the comprehensive coverage of contraceptives provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Delegate Charniele Herring is also a leading voice for women and families across the Commonwealth. As former chair of the General Assembly’s Reproductive Health Caucus, Del. Herring led the fight both on and off the House floor against anti-abortion bills in the 2012 General Assembly session, including the 24-hour mandatory delay and forced ultrasound. These medically unnecessary restrictions became law and were designed by anti-choice politicians solely to intimidate, shame and harass a woman seeking an abortion, and now we need her leadership in the House to roll-back these harmful restrictions. Delegate Herring formerly served on NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia’s board of directors.

“NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia is elated to have Delegate Filler-Corn and Delegate Herring, as the next Speaker of the House and House Majority Leader. These courageous women understand why it is critical for our elected officials to stand up and fight for every Virginia woman’s right to control her own reproductive destiny, and therefore, her future, and will work tirelessly on behalf of all Virginians,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia.”

“We look forward to working with the newly elected pro-choice House majority, under Delegate Filler-Corn and Delegate Herring’s leadership, who for the first time ever — has the ability to pass meaningful, lasting reproductive freedom legislation that can protect a woman’s bodily autonomy, as well as get rid of the harmful anti-abortion laws on the books put in place by anti-choice legislators who held control of the General Assembly over the past two decades,” commented Tarina Keene.

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