Whole Woman's Health Act; performance of abortions. (HB2186)

Introduced By

Del. Jennifer Boysko (D-Herndon) with support from co-patrons Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria), Del. Ken Plum (D-Reston), Del. Marcia Price (D-Newport News), and Del. Mark Sickles (D-Alexandria)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Whole Woman's Health Act; performance of abortions. Provides that a woman has a fundamental right to obtain a lawful abortion and that no statute or regulation shall be construed to prohibit the performance of an abortion prior to viability or if necessary to protect the life or health of the woman. The bill also provides that any statute that places a burden on a woman's access to abortion without conferring any legitimate health benefit is unenforceable. The bill expands who can perform first trimester abortions from physicians to any health care providers licensed by the Board of Medicine or the Board of Nursing. The bill eliminates the requirement that second trimester abortions be performed in a licensed hospital. The bill eliminates the requirement that two other physicians certify that a third trimester abortion is necessary to prevent the woman's death or impairment of her mental or physical health as well as the need to find that the woman's health would be substantially and irremediably impaired. The bill eliminates all the procedures and processes, including the performance of an ultrasound, required to effect a woman's informed written consent to the performance of an abortion; however, the bill does not change the requirement that a woman's informed written consent is first obtained. The bill removes language classifying facilities that perform five or more first trimester abortions per month as hospitals for the purpose of complying with regulations establishing minimum standards for hospitals. The bill also removes the prohibition on the sale of health insurance policies that provide coverage for abortions through an exchange established or operated pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The provisions of this bill are in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt, 136S. Ct. 2292 (2016). Amends § 16.1-77, § 18.2-72, § 18.2-73, § 18.2-74, § 18.2-76, § 32.1-127, of the Code of Virginia. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

  • 01/11/2017 Committee
  • 01/11/2017 Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17103772D
  • 01/11/2017 Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
  • 01/16/2017 Impact statement from VDH (HB2186)
  • 02/07/2017 Left in Courts of Justice

Comments

ACLU-VA Women's Rights and Reproductive Freedom, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports HB2186, which would bring Virginia laws governing abortion in line with the U.S. Constitution. In June 2016, the United States Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt reaffirmed that access to abortion is a fundamental constitutional right and held that abortion restrictions are unconstitutional unless the medical benefits they confer outweigh the burdens they impose on access to safe, legal abortion care. The Court also held that states must do more than simply claim an abortion restriction benefits women’s health; they must prove it through credible, reliable evidence. Currently, a woman seeking an abortion in Virginia faces mandatory waiting periods, lack of insurance coverage, and a lack of qualified abortion providers and high-quality health clinics due to onerous TRAP laws calculated to close women’s health clinics and discourage doctors from providing abortion care to their patients. Leading medical professionals oppose these restrictions, which delay a woman’s access to safe, legal abortion care in Virginia. Delays serve no positive medical purpose and, in fact, make health care harder to access and more expensive. HB2186 would repeal these restrictions and ensure abortion care, like all medical care in Virginia, is driven by evidence-based standards supported by medical professionals- not politics.

Eva King writes:

I strongly support this bill!
Access to legal abortion is a fundamental constitutional right, and any measures to restrict access are unconstitutional. Medical and family planning decisions are purely personal. Not to be made or interfered with by politicians, or religious fanatics.

ACLU-VA Legislative Agenda, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports HB2186, which would bring Virginia laws governing abortion in line with the U.S. Constitution. In June 2016, the United States Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt reaffirmed that access to abortion is a fundamental constitutional right and held that abortion restrictions are unconstitutional unless the medical benefits they confer outweigh the burdens they impose on access to safe, legal abortion care. The Court also held that states must do more than simply claim an abortion restriction benefits women’s health; they must prove it through credible, reliable evidence. Currently, a woman seeking an abortion in Virginia faces mandatory waiting periods, lack of insurance coverage, and a lack of qualified abortion providers and high-quality health clinics due to onerous TRAP laws calculated to close women’s health clinics and discourage doctors from providing abortion care to their patients. Leading medical professionals oppose these restrictions, which delay a woman’s access to safe, legal abortion care in Virginia. Delays serve no positive medical purpose and, in fact, make health care harder to access and more expensive. HB2186 would repeal these restrictions and ensure abortion care, like all medical care in Virginia, is driven by evidence-based standards supported by medical professionals- not politics.

Mary-Helen Sullivan writes:

I support this proposed legislation which would follow the intent of Roe vs. Wade.