January 6, 2014 — Following the November election of Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe (D), abortion-rights supporters are hoping to roll back abortion restrictions enacted under outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), the Virginian-Pilot's "Pilot on Politics" reports.
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia and other abortion-rights groups have formed a coalition to advocate for issues affecting women's health.
During a conference call with reporters on Thursday, NARAL Virginia Executive Director Tarina Keene said, "Virginians have made it quite clear that they want politicians out of their doctors' offices and their private decision-making." Abortion-rights supporters were key to McAuliffe's victory, according to "Pilot on Politics."
Medicaid Expansion, Repealing Antiabortion-Rights Laws are Priorities
Keene said a focus for the coalition is repealing a 2012 state law requiring women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound prior to the procedure. "Requiring an ultrasound before an abortion is not about medicine," she said, adding that the law's "only purpose is to interfere in a woman's ability to make the best decision for herself and her family."
The coalition also will urge state lawmakers to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) and repeal an almost complete ban on abortion coverage in health plans being offered through the state's health insurance marketplace under the ACA.
"Pilot on Politics" notes that the coalition's agenda might face challenges, particularly in the House, where Republicans outnumber Democrats 2-1 (Sizemore, "Pilot on Politics," Virginian-Pilot, 1/2).