Special Session is now in full swing and our bills are swiftly moving forward! This week is shaping up to be a big one for reproductive freedom. But first, let’s take a look at what happened last week and where we are now.
Here’s the status of our bills going into week 6 of session:
Repeal of Abortion Coverage Ban on the State Healthcare Exchange
SB 1276, patroned by Sen. McClellan (D-Richmond), passed out of the House Labor and Commerce Committee (13-Y 9-N) on Thursday. The bill is on its second reading on the House floor. The final vote will be as early as Wednesday the 17th and then the bill will be off to the Governor’s desk!
12-Months of Birth Control for Medicaid Insurees
SB 1227, patroned Sen. Boysko (D-Herndon), passed unanimously out of the Senate and has crossed over to the House where it has been assigned to the Committee on Health, Welfare, and Institutions, Health subcommittee where it will be heard on Tuesday, Feb. 16th.
One of our Fellows, Armani Anderson, offered powerful and compelling testimony for this bill. You can see it here, starting at around the six-minute mark.
Plan and workgroup to establish a Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Team (FIMRT) in Virginia
HB1950, patroned by Del. Ayala (D-Prince William), passed unanimously out of the House and has crossed over to the Senate and is assigned to the Senate Committee on Education and Health subcommittee on Health where it will be heard on Tuesday, Feb. 15th.
Workgroup to Study Local and Regional Jails Procedures for the Treatment of Pregnant Incarcerated Persons
SB1300, Sen. Favola (D-Arlington) – The bill was reported from Public Safety (15-Y 7-N) on Friday the 12th and will hopefully be on the floor calendar Tuesday the 15th. The final vote will likely be Wednesday.
Our Grassroots Advocacy Efforts
Last Monday we threw a Testimony Writing Party!
The event was focused on how to use *your* unique voice to elevate and support our bills through personal testimony.
We were able to collect 8 testimony pieces and had 10 attendees!
If you would like more frequent, in-depth updates and information, please sign up for our Legislative Rapid Response Team, text alerts, and follow us on Twitter to get the latest on the General Assembly!
Black History Month
It’s Black History Month and we are highlighting some incredible Black leaders and Black-led organizations working in the reproductive freedom, health, and rights space every Wednesday on Facebook. We also started a fundraiser for The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project (RRFP) on Wednesday. RRFP seeks to further Reproductive Justice by providing practical and financial support for abortion services in Virginia and surrounding communities.
You can donate by visiting the post here.
Over on Instagram, we highlighted 5 Black-led podcasts that you should listen to! View the post here.
We also highlighted 5 Black Virginia women activists & advocates you should know about. Check out the post here.
Be sure to check back every Friday and Wednesday for a new post spotlighting more amazing Black voices, leaders, creatives, and organizations doing amazing work for social justice right here in the Commonwealth and beyond!
Stay tuned on what is happening in Richmond. Things are moving fast and we expect our priority bills to make their way through their opposite chamber before the middle of next week and onto the Governor’s desk. Then it will be time to celebrate! Thank you again for all of your support and see you next week!