Delegate Hudson pushing for affordable emergency contraception in Virginia

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 1:58 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - With the U.S. Supreme Court having reversed the 50-year-old Roe protections, the pressure is now on state lawmakers to address the abortion issue.

57th District Delegate Sally Hudson (D) says it is more important than ever to push for reproductive rights in the commonwealth.

“It’s important that all Virginians know that the General Assembly is now the last line of defense for their basic body rights,” Del. Hudson said Monday, January 23. “You’ve got strong abortion rights in Virginia right now, but Republican legislators and the governor are very clear that they would like to restrict abortion access.”

She says this year’s divided government in Richmond will matter.

“I don’t expect those bills to pass, because I don’t expect them to make it through a Democratic Senate,” Hudson said. “But they’ve absolutely been filed.”

This is why Hudson says she is crafting legislation for reproductive rights that could be bipartisan.

“I have been working on that bill with a lot of our local nurses who sometimes see survivors of sexual assault show up in an emergency room to get comprehensive care, but in particular, to seek emergency contraception, and it’s not always right now, under our current law,” Hudson said.

She says right now, if there’s a conscience clause in Virginia, which allows an individual healthcare provider to deny contraception access, if it conflicts with their personal beliefs, even if a patient wants it. She wants to make emergency contraception affordable and available for all, which would mean the hospital would then be responsible to find a backup for the patient.

She also wants emergency contraception to be covered by the Virginia Crime Victims Fund.

“I think a lot of people find out about their reproductive rights the hard way, when they try to go get health care and discover that it’s not as accessible as they want it. And so I think that part of what we’re doing here is making sure that all of our policies that govern emergency rooms are there for everybody when they need it,” Hudson said.

Hudson says the current divided government in Richmond illuminates how important state elections will be this year. She says if republicans gain majority in both the house and the senate, that could limit reproductive rights in the future.

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