by Kathy Greenier, Reproductive Freedom Project Director
We’ve written a lot about Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers (TRAP) in Virginia – medically-unnecessary rules designed to close down women’s health centers that provide important health care services like family planning, cancer screenings, and abortion. But wait, I thought Roe v. Wade clarified a woman’s right to abortion? How can the government limit a woman’s access to this legal and safe procedure? Have there always been laws restricting access to women’s health care in Virginia? What can we do to protect reproductive rights?
Understanding the history of attacks on women’s health in Virginia helps us see how laws like TRAP have gained political traction today. Check out this timeline of all the laws restricting women’s health care in Virginia.
Whether it’s denying Medicaid-coverage, forcing doctors to pressure women with government-written materials, or requiringwaiting periods and state-mandated ultrasounds, over the years there have been many obstacles put in front of a woman seeking safe, legal abortion. Laws in the 1980s and 1990s put the focus on restricting patient access by limiting public funding for abortions or requiring state-prescribed counseling and waiting periods. Today, the focus is on placing restrictions on providers, including rules designed to shut down women’s health centers and laws that place a politician between a doctor and their patient.
The history of restrictions on reproductive freedom in Virginia shows we’re moving backwards. These new restrictions are not only coming faster and faster, but are also sneakier, and are more extreme. Now is our chance to turn the tide, starting with the removal of the medically unnecessary TRAP rules designed to close women’s health centers in the Commonwealth.
Please join our tweet chat to learn more about all the laws and regulations undermining reproductive freedom in Virginia and how to take a stand to protect women’s health. We’ll share actions you can take to make sure Virginia moves in the right direction. Follow #LibertyChatVA Wednesday, September 17 at noon!
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