On Friday, 4/12 the Virginia Board of Health voted 11 – 2 in favor of TRAP (Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers) that will in effect, deny access to abortion services by mandating that existing clinics comply with costly, burdensome and unnecessary regulations similar to those required for inpatient hospitals. Most clinics in the state will not be able to afford the extensive construction costs demanded by the architectural requirements of the regulations.Previously, the board had voted to grandfather in existing clinics, exempting them from certain architectural requirements that medical experts had stated were excessive. Attorney General Ken Cuchinelli refused to certify those regulations and engaged in various intimidation tactics including threatening to refuse to do his job and represent them should they ever be sued.
Wayside is proud to support the women organizing with the group Oppose TRAP as they resist Ken Cuchinelli’s right-wing, religiously motivated agenda and continue develop strategies to overturn these new regulations. Dozens of activists stood outside in the pouring rain starting at 5:30 am to testify during public comment and to expose the hypocrisy of the Board and the Attorney General after the vote took place.
In this video by Martin Images, you can see Wayside Center Coordinator Jeff Winder defiantly address the board prior to the vote followed by a brilliant piece of satire. Start watching at minute 11:35:
The satire and other public comment continues here.
And in this piece, at minute 3:20 you’ll see some familiar faces behind the Ken Cuchinelli masks taking control of the space after the vote with chanting, song and dancing until the police clear the chambers:
The vote and the resistance were broadly covered by local and national media including the Rachel Maddow show at minute 3:25. Interestingly, Maddow chose to interview a representative of the Virginia Democratic Party against the backdrop of testimony and direct action by Oppose Trap despite the fact the the party did nothing to mobilize for or support this effort. One of the activists responds here with an open letter to VA Dems. And again, in the local television coverage, you’ll see some familiar faces speaking out for reproductive freedom.
For more context as well as to stay in touch for next steps visit Oppose Trap.