Today is Women's Equality Day, the 91st anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. President Obama's Proclamation for Women's Equality Day 2011 stated: "Even before they gained the right to vote, America's women were leaders of movements, academics, and reformers, and had even served in the Congress. Legions of brave women wrote and lectured for change. They let their feet speak when their voices alone were not enough, protesting and marching for their fundamental right to vote in the face of heckling, jail, and abuse. Their efforts led to enormous progress millions upon millions of women have since used the power of the ballot to help shape our country. ... But work still remains."
Last night, Rachel Maddow had Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia on to discuss the release of regulations of the amendment to SB 924 that would require "facilities in which 5 or more first trimester abortions per month are performed" to be treated like hospitals instead of doctor's offices or outpatient clinics.
The regulations will be voted on by the State Board of Health, which is scheduled to meet on September 15th.
The day before, Wednesday, September 14th, the Virginia Coalition to Protect Women's Health will be holding a "Speak Out to Protect Women" event on the Virginia Commonwealth University campus, from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. This event invites people to "[s]end a message that [the State Board of Health] must ensure that the regulations permit the continued availability of safe, legal first-trimester abortion in multiple locations throughout the state."
On Equality Day 2011 and going forward, I urge the women of Virginia to consider ways in which they can work to further the equality of women in the Commonwealth of Virginia and stand up against attempts to restrict the right of women to have access to safe and legal healthcare.