Richmond, VA - Today, HR 323, which would have changed the rules of the House of Delegates to allow for a full vote on SJ255, a proposed constitutional amendment to enshrine reproductive freedom in Virginia, was passed by (defeated) on a party-line 50-45 vote. Delegate Marcus Simon filed the rules change last week to force a vote to highlight where delegates stand on the matter. If this constitutional amendment passed the General Assembly twice with an intervening election, Virginia voters would then have the final say on the future of reproductive freedom protections in our state.
Jamie Lockhart, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:
“House Republicans think that by avoiding a vote to enshrine reproductive freedom in Virginia’s constitution, they will somehow fool voters into thinking their end goal is not to ban abortion. Fortunately, voters see right through this and will turn out again in droves to elect abortion rights champions to the Virginia General Assembly.
Delegate Simon took a bold step toward permanently protecting our reproductive freedom. We applaud him and his colleagues who voted against every attempt to restrict abortion this session, reflecting the will of the people in our Commonwealth.
There is broad support for abortion rights in Virginia. A recent poll from The Wason Center at Christopher Newport University found that 72% of Virginians want our abortion laws to stay the same or be less restrictive. While disappointed by the outcome of today’s vote, we are confident that Virginians will remember exactly which lawmakers pushed to protect their rights and which lawmakers blocked them from having a say in the matter. No matter what, we know they will make their voices heard this November when they turn out to vote for candidates who will defend their reproductive freedom.”
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV) is a statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to preserve and broaden access to reproductive health care through legislation, public education, electoral activity and litigation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. PPAV works to ensure that individuals and families have the freedom, information, and ability to make their own informed reproductive choices