On 51st Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Spanberger Works to Protect Abortion Access in Virginia & Support Providers
Virginia is the Only Southern State that Has Not Restricted Abortion Access Since SCOTUS Overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger yesterday — on the 51st anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade — helped introduce legislation to protect access to abortion services and reproductive healthcare for women in Virginia and across the United States.
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022, obstacles to access abortion services have grown increasingly more common as clinics have stopped offering abortion services or have closed their doors altogether. In the first 100 days after Roe was overturned, more than 60 clinics in 15 states stopped providing abortion services. Additionally, roughly half of U.S. states now have laws that restrict or ban abortion services.
While abortions have decreased in the states that restrict access, they have significantly increased in states where abortion care is more readily available. These states — including Virginia — have seen high influxes of out-of-state patients, which has caused increased delays in accessing abortion services and other sexual and reproductive healthcare services. Healthcare facilities nationwide are experiencing burdens on their capacity to provide comprehensive abortion services and reproductive healthcare.
The Abortion Care Enhancement and Support Services (ACCESS) Act would establish a grant program to increase capacity to provide abortion services and other sexual and reproductive care in states where abortion is still legal. Eligible entities — like hospitals and clinics — in states where abortion services are legal would be able to apply for funding to expand their capacity to provide abortions to accommodate both their in-state residents and out-of-state patients coming to seek care.
“Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion politicians have continually attacked reproductive healthcare and stripped millions of American women of their right to choose. As a result, Virginia has stepped up to provide vital reproductive healthcare to women denied services in neighboring states. This effort has not been met with adequate funding or resources,” said Spanberger. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing legislation that would protect access to abortion services and support health facilities as they manage this influx of new patients. As lawmakers, we must continue to push back against attacks on reproductive healthcare — and our ACCESS Act does just that.”
The Spanberger-supported bill is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Center for Reproductive Rights, Reproductive Freedom for All, All* Above All Action Fund, Power to Decide, Physicians for Reproductive Health, National Council of Jewish Women, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda, National Partnership for Women and Families, and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The ACCESS Act is led by U.S. Representatives Yadira Caraveo (D-CO-08), Judy Chu (D-CA-28), Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16), and Sara Jacobs (D-CA-51).
Activities under the grant program created by the ACCESS Act would include:
- Expanding the facility to include more exam, operating, and recovery rooms;
- Purchasing medical supplies to provide reproductive and sexual health care;
- Administering telehealth services, including audio, text, and video messaging;
- Contracting or hiring necessary staff and personnel;
- Training programs to increase support staff;
- Creating accurate and educational patient resources;
- Interpretation and translating services;
- Referrals and counseling; and
Click here for the bill text.