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VIDEO: Senator Hashmi, Delegate Price Celebrate Legislative Milestone in the Fight to Protect Contraception in Virginia

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Check out the following press release and video of “Senator Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield County) and Delegate Marcia “Cia” Price (D-Newport News) this morning [hoiding] a press conference celebrating that their companion bills to codify a right to contraception have successfully passed both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly by Crossover.” Great stuff; now we’ll see what Youngkin does with this important legislation.

VIDEO: Senator Hashmi, Delegate Price Celebrate Legislative Milestone in the Fight to Protect Contraception in Virginia

Watch the press conference HERE

RICHMOND, Va. – Senator Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield County) and Delegate Marcia “Cia” Price (D-Newport News) this morning held a press conference celebrating that their companion bills to codify a right to contraception have successfully passed both chambers of the Virginia General Assembly by Crossover.

HB 609 and SB 237 are a response to the concurrence written by Justice Clarence Thomas in the Dobbs decision. Thomas stated that the U.S. Supreme Court “should reconsider” other past rulings in which there was a finding of a Constitutional right to privacy, including the landmark Griswold v. Connecticut case that protected the right to contraception for married couples. The case was followed by Eisenstadt v. Baird, which expanded the right to unmarried people. Virginia’s Right to Contraception Act would ensure that the right to contraception would stand in Virginia in the event the U.S. Supreme Court overturned those rulings as well.

“The conservative majority on the Supreme Court has made it clear to us that the stripping of reproductive freedom and health care will not stop with the fall of Roe v Wade,” said Senator Hashmi. “Despite the overwhelming public support for contraception rights, we are actually witnessing political opposition at an alarming rate. Right-wing extremists are actively opposed to access, to affordability, and to the availability of contraception. Now more than ever, we have to take action.”

Just yesterday in Oklahoma, the House Public Health Committee passed the “Oklahoma Right to Human Life Act”. The bill would restrict IUDs and require physician approval for some contraceptives that are currently over-the-counter.

“Right here, right now, I am proud to declare that Virginia is and will continue to be a safe haven for reproductive rights and freedom in the South. And that includes the right to access contraception,” said Delegate Price. “This is a deeply personal issue for me … I fight not only for this right because I strongly believe in the right to contraception for family planning, but also for the right to contraception to manage a variety of medical conditions like endometriosis and in my case, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. Without the use of contraceptives to manage my long list of PCOS symptoms, I would not be able to stand before you today.”

“The Dobbs decision created a landscape where every state is for themselves. And this puts thousands of people at risk,” said Rae Pickett, Communications Director for the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood. “As with many health disparities, lack of access to contraception most negatively affects folks with low incomes, Black and Brown folks, and those in rural communities. Your access to contraception shouldn’t depend on your zip code. That’s why we need SB237 and HB609 to make sure that everyone has the right to access the contraception that they need.”

“We cannot and will not let Virginia do what so many deep red states are attempting to do. That is why Birth in Color is proud to be in this fight,” said Kenda Sutton-EL, Founding Executive Director of Birth in Color. “We at Birth in Color know all too well that the worst impacts of restrictions on reproductive health care of course fall on people of color, Black women, and the LGBTQIA community – the already marginalized communities. The Right to Contraception Act is an important step towards securing reproductive rights.”

The bills will now be considered by their opposite chambers.

A video of the press conference is available HERE. High-resolution photos from the event are available HERE and may be published with attribution to Bert Shepherd.

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