Pro-Choice Legislation

Reproductive Health Protection Act 

  • Overturns medically unnecessary restrictions, expanding who can perform first-trimester abortions to include any person jointly licensed by the Board of Medicine and Nursing as a nurse practitioner acting within such person’s scope of practice.
  • NARAL VA Factsheet.
  • Text: SB 733 & HB 980
  • Patrons: Jennifer L. McClellan and Charniele L. Herring
  • Status: Passed Senate (20 – Y, 20 – N); Passed House (52 – Y, 45 – N), Signed by Governor Northam on 4/9/2020. Became law – July 1, 2020. 

Reproductive Health Equity Act

  • Requires health benefit plans to cover the costs of specified health care services, drugs, devices, products, and procedures related to reproductive health.
  • Text: HB 1445 & SB 917
  • RHEA Fact Sheet
  • Patrons: Marcia S. Price & Mamie E. Locke
  • Status: Continued to 2021

Definition of Birth Control

  • Defines “birth control,” for the purposes of the regulation of medicine, as contraceptive methods that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and provides that birth control shall not be considered an abortifacient. 
  • Text: HB 552
  • Patron: Vivian E. Watts
  • Status: Passed House (55- Y, 43 – N), Passed Senate (21 – Y, 19 – N), Signed by Governor Northam on 3/23/2020, Became law July 1, 2020

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

  • Protects workers against discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Employers must offer reasonable accommodations to pregnant employees and cannot fire a pregnant person for pregnancy-related medical conditions.
  • Text: SB 712 & HB 827
  • PWFA Fact Sheet 
  • Patrons: Jennifer L. McClellan and Carrol Foy
  • Status: Passed House (61 – Y, 35 – N), House substitute agreed to by Senate (39 – Y, 1 – N), Signed by Governor Northam on April 11, 2020, Became law July 1, 2020

Budget Amendment: Restores Fetal Anomaly Funding

  • Restores funding for abortions for women who are financially eligible for Medicaid in cases of gross and incapacitating fetal anomalies–funding which was removed from the budget in 2019.
  • Text: Page 556 of the Governor’s Budget
  • Fetal Anomaly Amendments Fact Sheet
  • Status: Not amended by House or Senate committee reports–new budget renews funding for abortions in cases of gross fetal anomalies 

Budget Amendment: Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptive (LARC) Program Expansion

  • Modifies the existing LARC Program as included in the 2018 Appropriation Act to clarify that it is no longer a pilot program and provides $1.0 million a year from the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant to supplement the LARC program by expanding access to other forms of contraception (the pill, etc.). The Governor’s Recommendation, also approved by the General Assembly, included non-hormonal and hormonal contraceptives. 
  • Text: Item 32
  • Status: Floor approved – part of the enacted budget 

 

Other Positive Bills and Partner Bills: 

Paid Family and Medical Leave Program 

  • PMFL would form a state program to allow workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child.
  • Text: HB 825, SB 770
  • Patrons: Carroll Foy, Jennifer Boysko
  • Status: 
    • Senate: Passed by indefinitely in Committee on Finance and Appropriations with letter (16 – Y, 0 – N)
    • House: Referred to Committee on Appropriations

Budget Amendment: Maternal Mortality

  • Enshrined in the budget the collaborative (Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative) to decrease maternal mortality and morbidity.
  • Text: Page 285 of Governor’s Budget
  • Status: Not amended by House or Senate committee reports

Tampon Tax (Tier 3)

  • Provides that menstrual cups and pads, pantyliners, sanitary napkins, tampons, and other products used to absorb or contain menstrual flow shall be fully exempt from sales and use tax.
  • Text: HB 469, SB 231
  • Patrons: Mark L. Keam, Jennifer B. Boysko
  • Status: Passed in Senate (40 – Y, 0 – N), Left in House Committee on Finance

Pads in Schools 

  • Requires each school board to make tampons or pads available, at all times and at no cost to students, (i) in such accessible locations as it deems appropriate in each elementary school in the local school division and (ii) in the bathrooms of each middle school and high school in the local school division.
  • Text: HB 405, SB 232
  • Patrons: Mark L. Keam, Jennifer B. Boysko
  • Status: Passed Senate with Substitute (39 – Y, 1 – N), Passed House (54 – Y, 44 – N), Signed by the Governor on 4/5/2020, Became law July 1, 2020. 

Day of Women 

  • Recognizes January 22 of each year as the Day of Women in Virginia, replacing the Day of Tears.
  • Text: HR 6
  • Patron: Kelly K. Convirs-Fowler
  • Status: Left in Committee on Rules

Dispensing Bill 

  • Allows abortion providers among others to dispense certain classes of drugs including contraception.
  • Text: HB 1654, SB 1074
  • Patrons: Dan I. Helmer, Jennifer L. McClellan
  • Status: Passed Senate with Amendment (40 – Y, 0 – N), Adopted by House (96 – Y, 1 – N), Signed by Governor Northam on 4/2/2020, Became law July 1, 2020. 

Maternal Health Awareness Month 

  • Designates July as Maternal Health Awareness Month as of 2020.
  • Text: HJ 111
  • Patron: Marcia S. Price
  • Status: House – Block Vote Passage (95 – Y, 0 – N), Agreed to by Senate by voice vote

 

Defeated Anti-Choice Bills

Born Alive Act

Medication Abortion Reversal

  • Requires physicians to inform patients of the availability of medications, if available, to interrupt a medication-based abortion, if she decides to do so, after such woman has taken medication in preparation for the procedure. 
  • Text: HB 1356
  • Patrons: Walker and Campbell
  • Status: Left in Committee for Courts of Justice

Fetal Manslaughter Bill

  • Provides that any person who kills the fetus of another by an intentional act committed while in the sudden heat of passion upon reasonable provocation is guilty of voluntary manslaughter, which is punishable as a Class 5 felony.
  • Text: HB 696
  • Patron: Robert B. Bell
  • Status: Left in Committee for Courts of Justice

Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act

  • Prohibits dismemberment abortions.
  • Text: HB 1484
  • Patron: John McGuire
  • Status: Left in Committee for Courts of Justice

Abortion Method Ban

  • Prohibits a person licensed by the Board of Medicine to practice medicine from performing an abortion that involves dismemberment of a fetus.
  • Text: HB 1551
  • Patron: Dave A. LaRock
  • Status: Left in Committee for Courts of Justice
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