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Photos: Abortion Rights Advocates Rally in Richmond On Anniversary of Catastrophic Dobbs Decision 

VA House Dems Leader Don Scott: "It’s infuriating to see individuals who are so content signing away someone else’s rights and endangers the lives of so many women.”


From Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia:

Abortion Rights Advocates Rally On Anniversary of Catastrophic Dobbs Decision 

Richmond, Va – Reproductive health and rights advocates, an abortion provider, legislators and candidates gathered at the Capitol Square Bell Tower to observe the first anniversary of the Dobbs Supreme Court Decision that took away the constitutional right to abortion. The chaos, desperation and confusion that has ensued over the last 365 days has led to devastating experiences for tens of millions of people and counting. Twenty states have banned or eliminated all or some access to abortion. Many of these states are in the south, making access to abortion in Virginia critical for people who now have limited or no access where they live.

Jamie Lockhart, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia said, “We know that the stakes are higher than ever here in Virginia. Governor Youngkin has said he would happily sign any anti-abortion legislation that gets to his desk. Let’s be clear: Abortion is on the ballot in 2023. We must win pro-reproductive rights majorities in both chambers to stop any abortion ban from passing. We must win to start the process of achieving a constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion rights for generations to come.”

Dr. Shanthi Ramesh, Virginia League for Planned Parenthood Chief Medical Officer said, “Even before this decision, abortion bans were top of mind for many of my patients. They express gratitude at being able to access essential and time-sensitive care in Virginia. They sometimes cry thinking of what if their zip code was different and they were forced to continue a pregnancy. And they express anger and fear of what abortion bans might mean for their future. I became a physician to help my patients realize their dreams and futures. We simply cannot afford to further restrict abortion in Virginia.”

“One year after the Dobbs decision, abortion rights are under attack across our nation, and it has impacted the reproductive freedom of millions of Americans,” Congresswoman Jennifer McClellan said. “But, thanks to the Reproductive Health Protection Act that we passed in 2020, Virginia remains a key access state for abortion care. In 2022, voters sent a message at the ballot box that they want abortion rights protected. It’s critical that we get out the vote in 2023 in Virginia and in 2024 for the Biden-Harris ticket in order to protect reproductive freedom in our Commonwealth and in our country.”

“Today’s anniversary of the Dobbs decision is a stark reminder of what is on the line in Virginia this November. As the last southern state with abortion access, folks across the nation are looking to Virginia to ensure that we protect this fundamental right for not just our Commonwealth, but our neighbors as well,” said Delegate Schuyler VanValkenburg.

Tarina Keene, Executive Director of REPRORising Virginia said, “One year without the protections of Roe, our hearts are still broken, but we have hope. First and foremost, we must remain focused on getting patients the care they need and keep fighting until everyone everywhere has access to the full range of reproductive healthcare. Hundreds of patients from across the south and Midwest have flocked to Virginia for care after their own states have let them down by banning or severely restricting abortion. That number grows every day. This year’s House and state Senate elections are critical to the future of Reproductive Freedom in Virginia. Our recent primary election shows that abortion is on the ballot and Virginians expect their representatives to stand up to extremism and to unapologetically fight to keep abortion legal and accessible. This is our moment to be a leader in the fight for full bodily autonomy and to solidify Virginia as a safe haven for abortion care, especially for the people here in the South. So many are counting on us and we must not fail.”

“The fall of Roe has been a detriment to this nation and to women’s rights,” said Virginia House Democratic  Leader Don Scott. “The Republicans have tried time and time again to institute an abortion ban in our Commonwealth and have succeeded in state legislatures across the country. It’s infuriating to see individuals who are so content signing away someone else’s rights and endangers the lives of so many women.”

“I share my constituents’ strong feelings about the Dobbs decision. Feelings of anger that the Court took away their right to make decisions about their bodies. Feelings of fear about how our families, including my daughter and nieces, protect themselves in this new reality. This decision set forth a dangerous new precedent on private decision-making in this country,” said Delegate Rodney Willett.


Americans overwhelmingly support protecting access to abortion. A recent Washington Post-Schar School poll found that 75% of Virginians want abortion laws to be less strict or remain the same. This follows poll results from The Wason Center at Christopher Newport University in January that found that 72% of Virginians want our abortion laws to stay the same or be less restrictive.


Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia (PPAV) is a statewide advocacy organization whose mission is to preserve and broaden access to reproductive health care through legislation, public education, electoral activity and litigation in the Commonwealth of Virginia. PPAV works to ensure that individuals and families have the freedom, information, and ability to make their own informed reproductive choices.


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