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.”