Many people are reacting to the news of a Virginia lawmaker looking to bring an abortion law similar to that of Georgia and Alabama to the Commonwealth.
Lynchburg resident Kami Decarmo says if an anti-abortion law like the ones in Alabama and Georgia passed in her home state of Virginia she won’t stay.
“That makes me really upset and I would probably leave honestly,” said Decarmo.
She says women should have the right to choose, but that’s not something everyone agrees with.
“I’m anti-abortion so I wouldn’t support anything but,” said Carolyn Day.
The new Alabama abortion ban doesn’t have an exception for rape and incest cases and that’s something Day agrees with.
“Those are terrible circumstances obviously, but I do believe that every fetus has a right to live and be born and there are lots of options available for those circumstances,” said Day.
The debate nationally is whether or not laws essentially banning abortions are constitutional. Some lawmakers in Alabama making it clear they want their new law to head to the supreme court.
“If people are afraid that the government is going to come in and be intrusive, they might be deterred from seeking medical care when they need it,” said Sara Sprague.
Sprague is with Roanoke Indivisible and is a lawyer with an emphasis in constitutional law.
“By saying that a fetus is a person for the law, it necessarily puts the fetus’ rights over the life of an existing woman who is here living and has her own constitutional rights,” Sprague said.
She says laws like this are unconstitutional and wouldn’t help with the high rate of woman who die giving birth in the United States. According to the CDC, about 700 women in the U.S. die each year from pregnancy-related complications.
Sprague says there are other ways to help reduce abortion rates.
“Such as comprehensive sex education, greater access to health care, greater support for parents, like parental leave and free preschool. Just to help provide supportive environments once a child is born.”
In a statement about the law passing in Alabama, some Planned Parenthood officials say they are going to do what they can to stop the bill from becoming law in Alabama. One doctor says in the statement, “Politicians in Alabama just passed the most extreme and dangerous policy since Roe vs. Wade, banning abortion at any point in pregnancy — going so far as to threaten doctors with life-in-prison. Doctors and public health leaders agree: the cost will be women’s lives.”
Statement by Dr. Leana Wen, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“Politicians in Alabama just passed the most extreme and dangerous policy since Roe vs. Wade, banning abortion at any point in pregnancy — going so far as to threaten doctors with life-in-prison. Doctors and public health leaders agree: the cost will be women’s lives.
“In a state that has some of the worst health outcomes for women in the nation—such as the highest rate of cervical cancer — Alabama is putting women’s lives at an even greater risk. Politicians who say they value life should advocate for policies to solve the public health crises that are killing women, not dismantle what little access to health care Alabamians have left.
“With a record number of extreme bans on abortion and Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court, our fundamental right to health care is under assault like never before. We will do whatever it takes to stop this dangerous bill so that patients can continue to access the care they need. We are in for the fight of our lives, for our patients’ lives.”
Statement from Staci Fox, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates:
“Today is a dark day for women in Alabama and across this country. Banning abortion is bad enough. Imprisoning doctors for providing care goes beyond the brink. Alabama politicians will forever live in infamy for this vote and we will make sure that every woman knows who to hold accountable.
In the coming days, we will be mounting the fight of our lives — we will take this to court and ensure abortion remains safe and legal. For now, Planned Parenthood’s doors are open for the many patients who need access to care.”
Here in the Commonwealth, a trial over state abortion laws is scheduled for May 20. Those laws include an ultrasound requirement and a 24-hour delay for abortions in some cases.