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Virginia Women’s Health Advocates Rally to Protest Del. Albo’s Refusal to Hear Whole Woman’s Health Act

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From NARAL Virginia:

Women’s Health Advocates Rally to Protest Del. Albo’s Refusal to Hear Whole Woman’s Health Act

Pressure over suppression of bill continues for a third day 

Richmond, VA – Today, women’s health advocates rallied to protest the decision by Delegate Dave Albo (R – 42) not to allow a hearing or vote on several reproductive health bills, including the Whole Woman’s Health Act, which would align Virginia code with the ruling of the Supreme Court this past summer in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

A few dozen Virginians showed up to the protest outside the House Courts of Justice Committee meeting, where the bill should have been heard. Chanting “Hear our bill” and “When women’s rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!” activists demanded that Delegate Albo call a hearing and vote on the bill. The protest continued on the street outside the building after Capitol Police moved the protesters away from assembly windows. Lawmakers inside the room brushed off the disruption.

On Wednesday, Delegate Albo sent a letter to Delegate Jennifer Boysko (D – 86), who sponsored the bill, informing her that the committee would not hear the bill because it would require them to work over the weekend and because “liberal politics” wouldn’t make it through the vote anyway.

Yesterday, advocates gathered to condemn the actions. “Women’s health is much more than ‘liberal politics’ to Virginia women,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “To imply otherwise is insulting to the advocates who come to these hearings to try to convince legislators that they matter, that their constitutional rights are worth protecting, that their personal stories are real, and legislator’s votes have real world implications on their lives.”

Advocates accused Delegate Albo and committee members of seeking to avoid tough votes in an election year and silencing the very people they were elected to serve. “We will continue to speak out against the actions of Delegate Albo,” said Keene. “This is an unacceptable subversion of the democratic process, and he will be held accountable.”

  • God b watching U

    With respect, Virginia Democrats MUST find effective ways to communicate across the spectrum of Democratic voters – and possible Democratic voters – on issues of reproductive health. All Democrats and all possible Democratic voters are ‘pro-abortion rights’ … which is really what this story is about, isn’t it? Communicators must use the specific language for the specific goal. ‘Women’s health and children’s health’ is critical to the health of any community or society or nation. That is something that must be stated – as FACT – time and time again! But abortion rights is not the only aspect of women’s and children’s health that matter. Virginia Democrats would develop a communications strategy that shows how Democrats are involved with women’s and children’s health in many ways with many health and illness impacts. Keeping on that broad(er) message – with every encounter – will eventually ‘train’ the media and everyone listening to the media to understand that Democrats work hard for the total health of all women and all children. Right now the Democrats are ‘branded’ in a way that does not attract new voters. If Democrats want to win local district elections to win the House of Delegates they MUST have broad(er) aimed messages.