The City of Alexandria in Virginia is taking steps to protect abortion access following last week’s Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade and revoked the constitutional right to an abortion.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Alexandria City Council approved a resolution reaffirming its opposition to new abortion restrictions and calling on the city attorney to join current and future lawsuits aimed at protecting abortion availability in Alexandria.
“It is each of our right to shape our families and to have access to the health care that we need,” Council member Alyia Gaskins said.
Council member Kirk McPike said the council has “time and time again” stood against restrictions on a “woman’s right to choose.”
There were numerous interruptions during the meeting by protesters who disagreed with the vote with one person yelling “abortion is murder” and “be ashamed of yourselves” as they were hauled away by security.
“We trust women to make the safest, soundest choices for their bodies,” said Council member Sarah Bagley. “I am proud to be part of a community that respects choice.”
The resolution calls on the Virginia General Assembly to take action to protect abortion rights in the state, though legislation is currently being drafted by a group of state Republican lawmakers to potentially limit most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin called together four state Republicans to work on the bill: delegates Kathy Byron and Margaret Ransone, and senators Siobhan Dunnavant and Stephen Newman.
Youngkin has often said that he opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest and when the health of the mother is at stake.
Abortion is currently legal in Virginia through the first and second trimesters of pregnancy, which is about 26 weeks. Pregnant mothers can still get an abortion in the third trimester but they need three doctors to sign off, saying that the health of the mother is at risk.
These legislative moves come after a 20-week abortion ban died in a Democrat-held state senate committee in February.