Thursday morning, legislative champions in the Senate Education and Health Committee blocked all proposed abortion bans by votes of 9-5, officially preventing them from advancing to the Senate floor. The defeat of all three bills — Sen. Hackworth’s SB1284, Sen. Newman’s SB1385, and Sen. Dunnavant’s SB1483 — is a major victory for reproductive freedom and for Virginians’ continued ability to make their own private health care decisions.

Jamie Lockart, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia said in a statement:

“Despite Gov. Youngkin and his allies’ relentless efforts to undermine our health and rights, today we reaffirmed that there is no place for abortion bans in Virginia. All three of the dangerous anti-abortion proposals before this committee represented grave threats to Virginians’ health and rights, and we are thrilled to now celebrate their defeat. We are grateful to our legislative champions on the Senate Education and Health Committee, Senators Lucas, Saslaw, Howell, Locke, Barker, Petersen, Edwards, Hashmi, and McPike, whose votes today reflected the will of the people in our commonwealth and protected patients’ access to essential health care free from political interference.”

The bills’ defeat on Thursday follows last Friday’s recommendation by the Senate Subcommittee on Health Professions to reject all three proposals. At that hearing, subcommittee members heard powerful testimony from several abortion patient storytellers.

There is broad support for reproductive rights in Virginia, where polling shows that nearly 80% of people support legal abortion. Earlier this month, PPAV-endorsed candidate Aaron Rouse prevailed in the special election for Virginia’s 7th Senate District after making protecting abortion rights a cornerstone of his campaign, flipping a seat for the first time in over 25 years and cementing a pro-abortion rights majority in the Virginia Senate.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia’s Lobby Day brought dozens of Virginians to the capitol to demonstrate their strong support for abortion rights, meet with legislators, and demand action on policies that protect and expand access to health care in the commonwealth.