Abortions; informed written consent. (SB1549)

Introduced By

Sen. Jennifer Wexton (D-Leesburg) with support from co-patron Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Performance of abortions; informed written consent. Eliminates all the procedures and processes, including the performance of an ultrasound, required to effect a woman's informed written consent to the performance of an abortion; however, the bill does not change the requirement that a woman's informed written consent be first obtained. The bill reduces from two to one the number of consulting physicians who must certify that a third trimester abortion is necessary to prevent the woman's death or impairment of her mental or physical health and eliminates the need for such physicians to find that the woman's health would be substantially and irremediably impaired. The bill removes language classifying facilities that perform five or more first trimester abortions per month as hospitals for the purpose of complying with regulations establishing minimum standards for hospitals. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/20/2017Presented and ordered printed 17103746D
01/20/2017Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/23/2017Impact statement from VDH (SB1549)
01/26/2017Passed by indefinitely in Education and Health (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)


Catherine Flaatten writes:

This bill removes unnecessary burdens that have been put in place for the sole purpose of preventing women from making their own health care choices. I support this bill.

ACLU-VA Women's Rights and Reproductive Freedom, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly supports HB2186, which would bring Virginia laws governing abortion in line with the U.S. Constitution. In June 2016, the United States Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt reaffirmed that access to abortion is a fundamental constitutional right and held that abortion restrictions are unconstitutional unless the medical benefits they confer outweigh the burdens they impose on access to safe, legal abortion care. The Court also held that states must do more than simply claim an abortion restriction benefits women’s health; they must prove it through credible, reliable evidence. Currently, a woman seeking an abortion in Virginia faces mandatory waiting periods, lack of insurance coverage, and a lack of qualified abortion providers and high-quality health clinics due to onerous TRAP laws calculated to close women’s health clinics and discourage doctors from providing abortion care to their patients. Leading medical professionals oppose these restrictions, which delay a woman’s access to safe, legal abortion care in Virginia. Delays serve no positive medical purpose and, in fact, make health care harder to access and more expensive. HB2186 would repeal these restrictions and ensure abortion care, like all medical care in Virginia, is driven by evidence-based standards supported by medical professionals- not politics.