General Assembly
5:12 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Democrats Hope to Repeal Abortion Laws

Barbara Favola

Some Democratic members of the General Assembly have announced they’ll push to repeal several abortion-related laws that have passed in recent years, which they say are restrictive and set up barriers to women’s reproductive health. The Senators and Delegates say to achieve this goal, they’ll play offensive and defensive roles during the legislative session.

Anne Marie Morgan has the story.

Senator Barbara Favola said women deserve access to safe and legal health care.

“What Virginia is suffering is death by a thousand lashes. We continue to have bills that will significantly erode our access to safe and legal abortions.”

Delegate Jeion Ward’s bill would remove the requirement for an ultrasound before an abortion. She said she has seen thousands of bills in 11 sessions.

“Not one single bill has ever asked or required a man to have any kind of procedure done.”

Other bills repeal the $2500 fine on doctors who don’t first perform ultrasounds and reverse a provision barring health insurance marketplace policies from covering abortions. But House Speaker Bill Howell’s spokesman, Matthew Moran, said the GOP will focus elsewhere.

“We’re disappointed that Democrats have chosen to make such a divisive social issue the centerpiece of their legislative agenda. We believe strongly that our focus should be on growing Virginia’s economy, strengthening our schools, and focusing on the kitchen table issues.”

Democrats also vow to fight new abortion restrictions.