Virginia Senate Democrats Act As Brick Wall Against Attacks On Abortion and Family Life Education
For Immediate Release: March 3, 2022 (Updated: March 3, 2022, 4:30 p.m.)
HB212 defeated in a 10Y-5N bipartisan vote and HB789 defeated by 11Y-3N bipartisan vote.
Richmond, Va – This morning, Democrats on the Senate Education and Health Committee rejected attempts to interfere between patients and their providers and young people and their health by defeating HB212 (Greenhalgh) and HB789 (LaRock). Delegate Karen Greenhalgh’s HB212 would have reinstated mandatory biased counseling before an abortion, interfering in the relationship between a patient and their health care provider. Even Senator Dunnavant (R-Henrico) opposed HB212. During the subcommittee’s consideration, she said she “can’t support scripting that [informed consent] into the code.”
Delegate Dave LaRock’s HB789 prohibits any public elementary or secondary school student from participating in any family life education program without the prior written consent of their parent. This would have made it harder for young people to find and access critical sexual and reproductive health information and to discuss that information with a trained professional.
Statement from Jamie Lockhart, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:
“Under the leadership of Senator Louise Lucas, Senate Democrats once again rejected Republicans’ attempts to put up obstacles to safe, legal abortion care. When someone decides to have an abortion, they should be able to make that decision in consultation with their clinician without hearing biased counseling mandated by politicians. Delegate Karen Greenhalgh’s bill was intended to manipulate and shame patients and to undermine the patient-provider relationship.
At the same time, Delegate LaRock’s proposed legislation would have prevented students from being able to access critical health-related information about healthy relationships and preventing unplanned pregnancy, STIs, sexual assault, human trafficking, and more.”
Politicians who try to restrict essential health care are out of touch with the will of the people, the majority of whom want abortion to remain safe and legal. Polling indicates that 79 percent of Virginians support legal abortion, and a majority of Virginia voters oppose abortion bans and medically unnecessary restrictions like mandatory ultrasounds and 24-hour waiting periods. Earlier in the session, the Senate Health and Education Committee rejected a bill that would have banned abortion at 20 weeks, and the House did not consider an introduced 20-week abortion ban.
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.