Photosynthesis » ACLU-VA Women's Rights and Reproductive Freedom’s Portfolio

18 bills are being tracked.

Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act; penalty. (HB1473)

Patron: Del. Dave LaRock (R-Loudoun)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes HB1473 because it is cruel, dangerous, and unconstitutional. This bill poses a serious threat to women’s health, ignoring women’s health needs and individual circumstances and seeking to ban abortions at twenty weeks. The sponsors of this bill seek to deny a woman the dignity to make personal, private decisions. Every pregnant woman faces her own unique circumstances, challenges, and potential complications. It isn’t always possible for a woman to get an abortion as soon as she has made her decision – many things can stand in her way. A woman’s health is what should drive important medical decisions – not political agendas.

There are 11 comments about this bill »

Hospitals; regulations governing, facilities performing abortions. (HB1563)

Patron: Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports HB1563, which would bring Virginia law in line with the constitutional standard established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Abortion is incredibly safe—99% safe, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is also incredibly common—approximately three in ten women will have an abortion in their lifetimes, and will need access to safe, legal facilities to obtain abortion care. Despite the safety of the procedure, in 2011 the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law that requires abortion providers to follow burdensome and unnecessary regulations designed to close them down and make it harder to access abortion care in Virginia. Leading medical associations and medical professionals have consistently opposed this law because it puts women’s safety at risk. In June 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt held that clinic shutdown laws, like Virginia’s, that do not benefit women’s health are unconstitutional. HB1563 would repeal Virginia’s unconstitutional clinic shutdown law and ensure that no abortion provider in Virginia will be shut down unless it is a bone fide threat to public health.

There are 3 comments about this bill »

Abortion; informed written consent; civil penalty. (HB1762)

Patron: Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes HB1762, which would force physicians to communicate inaccurate and misleading warnings about abortion to their patients for the sole purpose of shaming them and coercing them to change their minds. Even if we disagree about abortion, we can agree that every woman deserves to have medically accurate, unbiased information so that she can make the best choice for her and her family. Women’s health providers already provide this information. By forcing medical professionals to share medically inaccurate information with their patients, this bill would let politicians, not doctors, decide what information a woman receives.

There are 3 comments about this bill »

Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program; established. (HB2126)

Patron: Del. Mark Levine (D-Alexandria)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia supports HB2126, which would require the Department of Labor to develop a plan for implementing a paid family leave program for all employees in Virginia. When a family welcomes a new child or a family member has a medical emergency, many Virginia workers face a difficult dilemma. If they are among the 60 percent of workers covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), they have the option of taking time off from their jobs unpaid. But if workers can't afford to forego the pay – which is often the case – their families are without a caregiver at a time of urgent need. The fact is, only 12 percent of employees nationwide receive paid family leave from their employers. Over the past several decades, Virginia's workplaces and families have changed dramatically – there are more women in the paid workforce than ever before; in most families, both parents have outside jobs; many households are headed by single parents; and family members are living longer and require more care in the latter part of their lives. Given these realities, paid family leave is essential to the health and well­being of Virginia’s workforce – especially to those who live paycheck to paycheck and lack job security. As the vast majority of care giving continues to be provided by women, the lack of paid family leave in Virginia is not only a matter of economic justice – it is an injustice that implicates constitutional principles of gender equality. At minimum, the Commonwealth should implement a plan to address this critically important issue.

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

Patron: Del. Jennifer Boysko (D-Herndon)
Status: failed committee

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.

There are 2 comments about this bill »

Employment; break to express breast milk. (HB2210)

Patron: Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports HB2210, which would require all Virginia employers to provide employees with reasonable breastfeeding accommodations during work hours unless doing so would unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. Under current Virginia law, a nursing mother’s right to pump breast milk during work hours depends on how she is paid and/or the type and amount of business her employer conducts, not whether her employer has the resources to accommodate her needs. This bill would change that. While not all employers have the resources or facilities to accommodate nursing employees, those that do should be required to provide reasonable accommodations to pump breast milk at work. A woman should not have to choose between keeping her job and nursing her child, and this bill is designed to ensure Virginia’s nursing mothers do not have to make that choice.

There are 3 comments about this bill »

Department of Health; restrictions on expenditure of funds related to abortions and family planning. (HB2264)

Patron: Del. Ben Cline (R-Amherst)
Status: vetoed by governor

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes HB2264, which is yet another attempt shut down trusted healthcare providers that provide women with safe, legal abortion services. The attacks on Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers are part of a broad and consistent pattern by anti-abortion extremists to interfere with women’s personal decision-making and block access to abortion and reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood is a critical safety-net provider: one in five women will visit local Planned Parenthood centers for health care during her lifetime, and many low-income women and women of color rely on Planned Parenthood as their primary health care provider. These politically-motivated attacks on women’s health and the providers we rely on are a distraction from the real issues. Across the country, communities are calling for more access to reproductive health care, not less, greater economic security, and the ability to support and protect their families. Those are the priorities our elected representatives should be focused on.

There are 10 comments about this bill »

Health benefit plans; coverage for hormonal contraceptives. (HB2267)

Patron: Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax Station)
Status: passed

The ACLU of Virginia supports HB2286, which would allow women to receive a full year’s supply of birth control at one time. For many women, whether they work multiple jobs, lack reliable transportation, or live in a remote area of the Commonwealth, receiving only 30 or 90 days of contraception at a time can be an obstacle to effective use. Most women receive only one month of birth control pills at one time, forcing them to return to the pharmacy monthly, and often only within the time period allotted by their insurance. In 2013, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending that a year’s supply of birth control be dispensed at one time. Virginia women should have access to best practices when it comes to contraception and reducing unintended pregnancy.

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Abortion; informed written consent. (HB2286)

Patron: Del. Jeion Ward (D-Hampton)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports HB2286, which would give back to patients their right to true informed consent by allowing them to waive non-medical, ideological, and medically unnecessary state requirements that are not intended to enhance informed consent. Each patient needs to be able to trust her doctor is providing her with timely care, free from judgment and stigma. Virginia law currently requires physicians to communicate biased information about abortion to their patients, perform unnecessary diagnostic testing, and to delay care for 24 hours against their patient’s wishes. These laws violate the basic tenants of informed consent, and delay a woman’s ability to access safe, legal abortion care by requiring multiple trips to a clinic for no other reason than to show the state’s disapproval of a woman’s personal, constitutionally protected medical decision. This bill would allow a woman and her doctor to determine which actions and information would add to her ability to make an informed medical decision, not politicians.

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Virginia Human Rights Act; pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; causes of action. (HB2295)

Patron: Del. Delores McQuinn (D-Richmond)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports HB 2295. Virginia law currently creates a private right of action for employees that have been discharged by their employer for pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, so long as the employer employs more than five but less than fifteen people. HB 2295 would extend that right of action to all Virginia employees, regardless of how many people are employed by their employers, and clarifies that nursing mothers are protected from employment discrimination on the basis of lactation. This bill takes the first step in safeguarding all individuals within the Commonwealth from unlawful discrimination, regardless of the number of persons employed by the employer.

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Unborn children; abortion law and personhood. (HJ589)

Patron: Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes HJ589, which would have wide-ranging, unforeseen, and unconstitutional consequences for a woman’s health and for a family’s private decision making. This bill could ban some methods of emergency contraception or prevent couples from using in-vitro fertilization to have a family. It could even deny a woman life-saving medical treatment for a disease, like cancer, if the treatment might harm her pregnancy or mean that a woman who suffers a miscarriage, and her doctor, could face an investigation and potentially a prosecution simply because an extreme politician thinks a miscarriage might be “suspicious”. This bill is way too extreme for our state.

There are 2 comments about this bill »

Supporting legislation regarding the Equal Rights Amendment. (HJ712)

Patron: Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax Station)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia supports this bill.

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Sick leave for employees; private employers to give to each full-time employee paid sick days, etc. (SB824)

Patron: Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia supports SB824, which establishes an avenue for employees to earn paid sick leave in Virginia. Virginia’s workers, who comprise the backbone of the state’s economy, should not be forced to choose between financial stability and their health or the health of a loved one. This bill gives workers the opportunity to earn paid sick leave, thereby ensuring a healthy, stable, and productive workforce in Virginia. This bill will have a particularly significant impact on women workers. The majority of low-wage workers are women, and women make up nearly half the labor force. Seven in ten mothers of children under 18 hold jobs, and the vast majority contributes a substantial share of their families’ income. This bill would also have a significant impact on communities of color. These workers are amongst those least able to give up a day’s pay in exchange for a day home sick, or home with a sick child or family member. Without paid sick days, workers often have no choice but to go to work sick, which puts the health of their co-workers and the public at risk. The standard proposed by SB824 would level the playing field by making paid sick days a universal practice, while also ensuring enough flexibility for employers to continue offering more generous benefits. The passage of SB824 would result in healthier workplaces, reduced turnover, more satisfied and productive workers, and better bottom lines for Virginia businesses.

One person has commented on this bill »

Paid family leave; Commissioner of Labor and Industry to develop an implementation plan for program. (SB847)

Patron: Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia supports this bill.

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Regulations governing hospitals; facilities performing abortions. (SB877)

Patron: Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports SB877, which would bring Virginia law in line with the constitutional standard established by the U.S. Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt. Abortion is incredibly safe—99% safe, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is also incredibly common—approximately three in ten women will have an abortion in their lifetimes, and will need access to safe, legal facilities to obtain abortion care. Despite the safety of the procedure, in 2011 the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law that requires abortion providers to follow burdensome and unnecessary regulations designed to close them down and make it harder to access abortion care in Virginia. Leading medical associations and medical professionals have consistently opposed this law because it puts women’s safety at risk. In June 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt held that clinic shutdown laws, like Virginia’s, that do not benefit women’s health are unconstitutional. SB877 would repeal Virginia’s unconstitutional clinic shutdown law and ensure that no abortion provider in Virginia will be shut down unless it is a bone fide threat to public health.

One person has commented on this bill »

Abortion; informed written consent. (SB1424)

Patron: Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports HB1424, which would give back to patients their right to true informed consent by allowing them to waive non-medical, ideological, and medically unnecessary state requirements that are not intended to enhance informed consent. Each patient needs to be able to trust her doctor is providing her with timely care, free from judgment and stigma. Virginia law currently requires physicians to communicate biased information about abortion to their patients, perform unnecessary diagnostic testing, and to delay care for 24 hours against their patient’s wishes. These laws violate the basic tenants of informed consent, and delay a woman’s ability to access safe, legal abortion care by requiring multiple trips to a clinic for no other reason than to show the state’s disapproval of a woman’s personal, constitutionally protected medical decision. This bill would allow a woman and her doctor to determine which actions and information would add to her ability to make an informed medical decision, not politicians.

Be the first to comment on this bill »

Abortions; informed written consent. (SB1549)

Patron: Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg)
Status: failed committee

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.

One person has commented on this bill »

United States Constitution; Ratifies Equal Rights Amendment. (SJ221)

Patron: Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)
Status: failed committee

The ACLU of Virginia supports this bill.

One person has commented on this bill »