Richmond, VA – Today, the Senate Subcommittee on Health Professions heard testimony on three abortion bans proposed by Senators Hackworth, Newman, and Dunnavant (SB1284, SB1385, SB1483). The uniting theme is that they all seek to ban abortion and give politicians power over patients’ personal medical decisions. The subcommittee, by a vote of 6-3, recommended SB1284 and SB1385 be rejected next Thursday in full committee. The subcommittee, by a vote of 5-4, recommended SB1483 be rejected next Thursday in full committee.
Jamie Lockhart, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:
“The bills the subcommittee considered today all seek to insert politics into health care and inappropriately restrict Virginians’ ability to control their own bodies. When medical professionals and people who have had abortions shared their stories during today’s hearing, it was impossible to ignore the devastating impact these proposals would have in stripping away an individual's right to decide what is best for their own health and future. As we heard in today’s powerful testimony, every pregnancy is unique and cannot be subject to one-size-fits-all restrictions.
People in many different circumstances need access to abortion, and no one should make those personal decisions for someone else — especially not politicians. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia applauds the subcommittee’s recommendation to vote down these harmful proposals that all threaten access to safe,essential, and life-saving reproductive health care.”
Dr. Jessica Gertz, patient storyteller, testified:
“I am a mother and physician in Richmond, Virginia and in 2020 I underwent an abortion after 20 weeks. I was free to make this very personal and difficult decision for myself. I did not want to risk my life going through a potentially traumatic labor and delivery. I did not want to have to tell my son that his sibling would be born unable to breathe or without a heartbeat. My daughter is here today because I had this right to choose. Make no mistake — the bans proposed today are aimed at people exactly like me.”
Erin Dinan, patient storyteller, testified:
“I am a mother who chose to have an abortion after 20 weeks. I urge you to reject the abortion bans before you today. During one of the most difficult times of our lives, we were lucky to have an incredibly supportive team of people at our hospital center that helped inform us of our choices and guide us through the process. Our provider was able to explain everything to us in a way we fully understood. I considered everything when making this choice, I knew that I did not want our baby to suffer and I knew that ending the pregnancy was the best way to do that. The night before, I held my stomach and hummed lullabies to our baby we would never get the chance to meet. I still knew this was the right decision. Everyone deserves the chance to make their own choice.”
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 decisions.