Today, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia held a press conference with elected officials, candidates for office were joined by a health care provider to highlight the serious threat Glenn Youngkin represents to abortion rights and his plan to go “on offense” as Governor.
Delegate Rodney Willett (HD-73), Delegate Jay Jones (HD-89), Debra Gardner, Candidate for Delegate (HD-27), Jamie Lockhart, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, and Darcy Jones, a certified nurse-midwife, spoke at the Capitol Square Bell Tower in Richmond about the need to protect access to abortion and ensure that cruel laws such as Texas’ SB8 don’t find a home in the Commonwealth.
The speakers urged Virginians to elect pro-reproductive health candidates Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala, Mark Herring and PPAV-endorsed delegate candidates.
Excerpts from the speakers’ remarks are provided below.
- Jamie Lockhart, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia: “This is a crisis moment nationally: the threat to the constitutional right to an abortion has never been greater. This is the culmination of anti-abortion politicians and activists,’ like the ones running for office in Virginia this year, decades-long plan to outlaw abortion...Virginia can’t afford to go back to a time when patients seeking abortion care were shamed and had to go through an obstacle course of medically unnecessary restrictions. Glenn Youngkin has made clear that he would take steps to end access to abortion in the commonwealth.”
- Darcy Jones, certified nurse-midwife: “I have worked in reproductive health for over 10 years and seen the difference of access versus restriction and the effect it has on not just the lives of the patients but their families and communities. Just 16 months ago, patients in Virginia had to undergo a waiting period, unnecessary testing, and trained, expert health care providers were not able to care for their own patients. We know we could be one election away from having this access removed. Patients have expressed grief and empathy for patients in Texas and fear that similar legislation could become a reality in Virginia.”
- Delegate Rodney Willett (HD-73): “We have more to worry about than just the top of the ticket. Not only has my opponent for the House, [Mary Margaret Kastelberg], campaigned with and support this extremist top of the ticket, but when she was asked about the right to choose, she advocated for greater support of pregnancy crisis centers — which have been known to deceive, shame, and manipulate pregnant women into a health care decision.”
- Delegate Jay Jones (HD-89): “My grandmother always told me, ‘Jay, be quiet, and listen.’ And I’ve tried to carry that with me during my time in the General Assembly, and I’ve really listened thoughtfully to my female colleagues on either side of the aisle, to talk about their stories. To talk about their struggles. To talk about the importance of women’s reproductive health care. That’s why I have stood with them time and time again, to make sure that we don’t go backwards, to make sure that we continue to advocate for those important provisions.”
- Debra Gardner, Candidate for Delegate (HD-27): “As a woman who came of age in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, I have seen the challenges that women face, having access and being able to make decisions regarding their reproductive health care, before Roe v. Wade. I joined that fight then, and I would never have imagined that fifty years later, we would still be fighting that fight all over again.”