VICTORY! We will be spending this Monday celebrating that ALL of our Access for All priority bills passed through both houses of the General Assembly. You read that right. Every. Single. One. Last week was a fantastic week in Richmond, with several major wins for reproductive freedom.

We will send an update on the budget if something changes but all of our budget priorities look like they are on track as well!

Below is the exciting play-by-play of each of our priority bills and the next steps for each of them!

Repeal of Abortion Coverage Ban on the State Healthcare Exchange

SB 1276, patroned by Sen. McClellan (D-Richmond) and HB 1896 patroned by Del. Sally Hudson (D-Charlottesville), passed in both chambers on the crossover vote!

We are now awaiting the details about the bills’ signing as they head to the Governor’s desk.

This bill was our number one priority of the session, and we got the job done! So many more people will have access to abortion care in Virginia!

12-Months of Birth Control for Medicaid Insurees

SB 1227, patroned Sen. Boysko (D-Herndon), passed on an overwhelming bipartisan vote (76-Y 23-N) in the House. Governor Northam also included the cost of the expansion in his budget.

A list of anti-reproductive health legislators who voted against this common-sense birth control access bill can be found here.

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 in the Senate this morning! It is also on its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

Workgroup to Study Local and Regional Jails Procedures for the Treatment of Pregnant Incarcerated Persons

SB1300, patroned by Sen. Favola (D-Arlington), passed in the House (56-Y 42-N) on Friday. Yes, the majority of republicans opposed this important bill!

After the governor signs the bill, our goal is to ensure that the House and Senate Public Safety Committee chairs send a letter to the Department of Corrections and Department of Juvenile Justice requesting comparable information about the procedures, guidance, and rules related to pregnant imprisoned persons.

Our Grassroots Advocacy Efforts

In total, our advocacy team hosted 12 Tweet and Tea lives on Facebook. During these sessions, we watched as our bills moved through their chambers and used the opportunity to leverage social media by tweeting to support our bills.

We also collected 41 pieces of written testimony and had 5 volunteers share their testimonies virtually before the House and Senate on camera. We are so thankful for everyone who used their voice and shared their stories with us. This is how change happens!

Stay Updated

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 stay updated on all things Reproductive Freedom.

Black History Month

It’s Black History Month, and we are highlighting some incredible Black leaders and Black-led organizations working in the reproductive health, rights, and justice space every Wednesday on Facebook.

Last week, we started a fundraiser for the Richmond Doula Project. The Richmond Doula Project is a collective of full-spectrum doulas in Richmond. The Richmond Doula Project aims to offer support and education to people through all pregnancy outcomes, centering POC, LGBTQI, and other underserved communities.

You can donate to the Richmond Doula Project by visiting the post here.

Over on Instagram, we highlighted 12 writings by Black women authors! View the post here.

Be sure to check back this week 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!

All in all, reproductive freedom won big during the 2021 legislative session largely due to folks like you who support our work. However, the fight is not over.

As we rejoice in our victories, we must use this progress to fuel our commitment to reproductive freedom access for all. As we push full speed ahead into our next big challenge – the 2021 statewide election cycle – we thank you for all of your support along the way.

Here’s to fighting the good fight!

 

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