House Dems Kick Off Women’s Health Tour in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. – In light of President Trump’s announcement Friday that he would roll back an Obama-era rule requiring that employers include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans, Democratic women in the Richmond area running for the House of Delegates yesterday held a press conference to draw attention to the anti-women records of Ed Gillespie and the Virginia House GOP.

Debra Rodman, nominee in the 73rd District; Katie Sponsler, nominee in the 66th District; Melissa Dart, nominee in the 56th District; and Sheila Bynum-Coleman, nominee in the 62nd District; kicked off the first stop of our Women’s Health Tour, discussing House Republicans’ votes, from defunding Planned Parenthood to mandating transvaginal ultrasounds.

“We’ve been lucky that for the last four years, Governor McAuliffe has acted as a firewall against the anti-women legislation coming out of the General Assembly,” said Rodman. “But make no mistake, it has been coming. From a bill to defund Planned Parenthood that made it all the way to the Governor’s desk, to legislation that would have forced women seeking abortions to undergo invasive transvaginal ultrasounds – House Republicans, including my opponent John O’Bannon, have been staunchly against a woman’s right to choose. Virginia women deserve better.”

“I know from personal experience that an attack on women’s access to contraception is a direct attack on women’s lives,” said Sponsler. “When Republicans decide to roll back access to birth control, they are rolling back treatment for endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome, among other things. As delegate, I will stand up to Republicans in Richmond and in Washington because women’s reproductive health is non-negotiable – and they do not seem to care that women’s lives are on the line.”

“Women’s health is an integral part of women’s economic freedom and equality,” said Dart. “However, along with the right to choose, women need assurance that equal work means equal pay. We need to pass legislation that will establish paid family leave so that no one has to choose between a paycheck and caring for a sick child. The House GOP has killed bills that would do both of these things, and when elected delegate, I will make sure that women’s equality – through all avenues – is a top priority.”

“The other side has proved time and again that they are no friends of Virginia women,” said Bynum-Coleman. “Just this session, they passed the women-shaming “Day of Tears” resolution that encourages Virginians to fly flags at half-staff on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. They are more interested in passing resolutions to shame women and strip them of their health care than they are in getting things done for women and their families, and that is unacceptable.”

Democratic women in the Hampton Roads area will hold a conference this Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in Virginia Beach for the second stop of the Women’s Health Tour. The location will be announced later today. 

###