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Abortion bans decimate access across the South; abortion remains legal but at risk in Virginia

Richmond, Va. –This evening, the South Carolina Legislature passed S. 474 (Planned Parenthood South Atlantic statement), a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, before many people find out they’re pregnant. The bill is expected to be signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster.

This deeply unpopular law will leave pregnant people who seek abortion care with bleak options: leave the state to travel hundreds of miles, self-manage their own abortion outside of the health care system, or be forced to carry a pregnancy to term against their will. With North Carolina’s abortion ban passing last week, South Carolinians may need to travel even farther for care. Recent polling indicates that 78% of Americans say the decision whether to have an abortion should be left to a woman and her doctor, rather than regulated by law, yet South Carolina’s action is part of a nationwide campaign by anti-abortion extremists to ban abortion throughout the United States, and it will have devastating impacts on all communities. 

Jamie Lockhart, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia: 

“Abortion access is being decimated across the South and while abortion remains legal in Virginia, it is at risk. The consequences of South Carolina’s abortion ban will be nothing short of devastating, imposing further harm on people who already face the greatest barriers to accessing health care. We expect many more patients to travel to Virginia as a result of the bans in North and South Carolina. This ban on abortion will especially harm people who live in rural areas, people working to make ends meet, and people who historically lack access to affordable health care, like people of color, young people, and people who are LGBTQ. These dangerous bans will lead to substandard health care, higher maternal and infant mortality rates, and more people forced to carry a pregnancy and give birth against their will. 

As Governor Youngkin continues to advocate for an abortion ban while he flirts with a  Presidential campaign, we know that he and other anti-abortion extremists will stop at nothing until they’ve banned abortion outright. This is why the Democratic primary in Virginia’s 13th Senate District is so crucial. Like North Carolina was, we are one election away from banning access to abortion. There is one path forward for Virginians who want to keep our reproductive rights: ensure a pro-reproductive freedom majority in the General Assembly this year. That starts by making sure Lashrecse Aird defeats the one anti-abortion Democrat in the Virginia State Senate on June 20th to keep Joe Morrissey from being the one vote Republicans need to ban abortion here.” 



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.


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