Virginia’s abortion laws will not change with SCOTUS Roe v. Wade decision: How local organizations are reacting

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 6:33 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Abortion rights supporters gathered on the steps of the federal courthouse in Roanoke Friday night, chanting, “Virginia stays legal!” Supporters and opponents of abortion rights in Virginia are reacting to the SCOTUS decision on Roe v. Wade.

Roanoke Indivisible, Women’s March Roanoke and Blue Ridge Resistance Alliance of Virginia participated in the ‘Roe Decision Day Rally’'.

Abortion is still legal in Virginia and as of right now, women can still make appointments to receive medical services. Abortion clinics told WDBJ7 these services in Virginia will not change or go away, because this decision came from the federal level and not the state level.

An administrator at Roanoke’s Medical Center for Women explained how she’s been receiving dozens of calls from women out of state to schedule appointments.

“Some of them are so far away, like Kentucky, we got Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia patients,” Karen Ives said. “More than what our local scheduling is already, set up for.”

Planned Parenthood’s senior director of external affairs for southwest Virginia explained Friday’s decision is taking away the rights of women.

“It’s essentially taken away our right, to have an abortion,” Alison Kiser said. “It takes the power away from the people to control their bodies and their personal decision-making.”

WDBJ7 also talked with medical centers that do not offer abortions for women, but instead offer alternative medical services. These centers offer services like therapy, abortion pill reversal and adoption help.

With Friday’s Roe v. Wade decision, these types of services will also not be affected for women in Virginia. The CEO of the Blue Ridge Center for Women explained she expects to see more women after Friday’s decision.

“We feel like we’re going to see a lot more clients come in,” Ann Russell said. “We talked a little bit about the abortion pill reversal, we will see clients be coming in a lot sooner.”

The coordinator for a pro-life group, Life Chain in Roanoke, explained how opponents of abortion rights are optimistic moving forward.

“This has been pushed to the states, and now, I think it’s better that way,” Al Bedrosian said. “Obviously, I think if our state wants to keep abortions legal, I still don’t think that’s good.”

Life Chain plans to continue to oppose abortion rights at the state and local level in Virginia.

Medical services at abortion clinics and medical centers have not changed and will not change based on Friday morning’s federal decision from the Supreme Court. However, if Governor Youngkin pushes forward with supporting a 15-week ban on abortions, that would change the types of medical services women in Virginia can receive.

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