Gov. Northam signs bill removing some of Virginia’s abortion restrictions

Richmond (WSLS)

RICHMOND, Va. – Gov. Ralph Northam is removing what he calls ‘medically-unnecessary’ restrictions on women’s health care.

The governor signed the Reproductive Health Protection Act, sponsored by Senator Jennifer McClellan and House Majority Leader Charniele Herring.

Senate Bill 733 will allow any person jointly licensed by the Board of Medicine and Nursing as a nurse practitioner acting within such person’s scope of practice to perform a first trimester abortion.

Also, the bill eliminates all of the procedures and processes, including the performance of an ultrasound, required to effect a pregnant woman’s informed written consent to the performance of an abortion.

At the same time, the bill does not change the requirement that a pregnant woman’s informed written consent first be obtained.

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.