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Virginia Democrats chose from slate of progressive leaders who support reproductive health and rights

Richmond, Va- Virginia Democrats have chosen nominees for statewide office who will fight for progressive values, including reproductive health and rights. Governor Terry McAuliffe, Delegate Hala Ayala, and Attorney General Mark Herring have all demonstrated their commitment to protecting reproductive health and rights prior to their nominations and we congratulate them on their primary victories. In contrast, the Republican nominees for statewide offices have expressed long-held and hardline opposition to reproductive health and freedom — in direct contradiction with the overwhelming majority of Virginia voters who support abortion access. 

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

“The contrast in the statewide race for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in Virginia could not be clearer and the stakes could not be higher. Since rolling back onerous restrictions to reproductive health care in 2020, Virginia has acted as a bellwether for progress. But states across the country, including neighboring states, are limiting access to abortion. With the newly re-composed Supreme Court’s decision to take up an abortion case that could strike at the heart of Roe v. Wade, our right to safe, legal abortion is in jeopardy like never before. The courts can’t be counted on to save us. We have to fight back against these attacks by supporting leaders who will put our health care access ahead of political games. After a Democratic primary packed with reproductive rights champions, we are ready to mobilize our supporters in the commonwealth to elect leaders who will build on the progress we’ve made in the last two years.

“This election is more important than ever in protecting the right to bodily autonomy for all Virginians. If the abortion ban before the Supreme Court is upheld, it could make it easier for future Virginia politicians opposed to reproductive rights to swiftly pass harmful legislation — making safe, legal abortion a right in name only. We simply cannot afford to let that happen. Virginians cannot afford Glenn Youngkin.” 

Over the last two years, Virginia has made historic gains for sexual and reproductive health care access by:

  • passing the Reproductive Health Protection Act, which removed political interference between a patient and their clinician and got rid of the medically unnecessary restrictions for a patient seeking access to safe, legal abortion; 

  • repealing the prohibition on abortion coverage within the state health care exchange; 

  • authorizing a 12-month supply of contraceptives for Medicaid beneficiaries;

  • increasing funding for the Contraceptive Grant Program which provides Virginians with low incomes access to free birth control (long acting forms and other forms of contraception); and

  • prohibiting health insurers from discriminating based on transgender status or gender identity.

Unfortunately for many, health care access still varies widely based on income, ZIP code, insurance provider, and immigration status. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV) and its 57,000 supporters will fight to ensure every person has access to the life-saving health care they need.

PPAV will announce its endorsements for statewide offices and the House of Delegates next month. 

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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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QUOTE IN SPANISH

Declaración Jamie Lockhart, directora ejecutiva de Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:

“El contraste entre las contiendas estatales de gobernador, vicegobernador y fiscal general en Virginia no podría ser más claro y, lo que está en juego, no podría ser mayor. Desde la reducción de graves restricciones al cuidado de salud reproductiva en 2020, el estado de Virginia se ha convertido en un verdadero líder del progreso. Pero, varios estados del país, incluidos algunos estados vecinos, limitan el acceso al aborto. Y ya que la Corte Suprema decidió escuchar un caso sobre el aborto que ataca directamente Roe vs. Wade, nuestro derecho a un abroto legal y seguro ahora está en riesgo como nunca antes lo había estado. No podemos esperar a que las cortes nos salven. Tenemos que luchar en contra de estos ataques apoyando a líderes que pondrán el acceso a los cuidados de salud por encima de los juegos políticos. Tras una primaria demócrata de la mano de defensores de los derechos reproductivos, estamos listos para movilizar a nuestros simpatizantes a lo largo del estado para elegir a líderes que construirán a partir del progreso logrado en los últimos dos años.

“Estas elecciones son las más importantes en materia de proteger el derecho a la autonomía corporal de toda persona residente de Virginia. Si la Corte Suprema falla a favor de la restriccón al aborto, esto podría facilitarle el camino a futuros políticos en Virginia quienes se opongan a los derechos reproductivos para aprobar leyes dañinas —y hacer del acceso seguro y legal al aborto algo solamente en nombre. Sencillamente, no podemos permitir que esto suceda. Los residentes de Virginia no podemos permitir que Glenn Youngkin llegue a la gubernatura del estado."