After Roe, abortion is still legal in most situations. Hear from The Family Foundation about what’s at stake, and how you can be part of the fight for life. Then, keep reading to find out more about your state’s post-Roe abortion laws.
After Roe, states have an even greater responsibility to protect life. Partner with your state’s family policy council to ensure that your state is pro-life, from conception all the way to natural death!Connect with Virginia Family Foundation
THE BIG QUESTION
After Roe, does my state ban nearly all abortions or allow nearly all abortions?
Virginia still allows abortions in most situations. Read more about Virginia’s abortion restrictions below.
MORE ABOUT YOUR STATE’S ABORTION LAWS
Below, we’ve summarized what abortion laws are in your state after Roe.
Abortion Limits, Exceptions and Enforcement
Limitations on abortions
If my state won’t ban all abortions, what are the limits to abortion?
During the third trimester, the abortion must be performed in a hospital licensed by the State Department of Health or operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Additionally, a physician and two consulting physicians to affirm that the abortion is necessary to prevent the women’s death or a substantial and irremediable impairment to the woman’s mental or physical health. Va. Code §18.2-74.
Virginia also has a ban on partial-birth abortion. Va. Code §18.2-71.1.
Exceptions to any limitations
Are there any exceptions to those limitations placed on abortion?
The third-trimester requirements and the partial-birth ban are not applicable when the abortion, in the opinion of the physician so performing the abortion, is necessary to save the women’s life. Va. Code §18.2-74.1.
Penalties for performing an illegal abortion
What are the penalties to abortion providers for committing an illegal abortion (one of the forms of abortion that my state has limited under the law)?
Violations of the third-trimester rules are a class 4 felony. Va. Code §18.2-71.
Those who knowingly perform a partial-birth abortion are guilty of infanticide, a class 4 felony. Va. Code §18.2-71.1(A).
When abortion laws are violated, who can file a lawsuit to enforce their rights and the law?
Special standards of care
Does my state impose a special medical standard of care on abortion providers?
Yes: During the third trimester, “measures for life support for the [aborted child] must be available and utilized if there is any clearly visible evidence of viability,” Va. Code §18.2-74, except when the abortion is deemed necessary, in the opinion of the physician performing the abortion, to save the mother’s life. Va. Code §18.2-74.1.
Protecting Fundamental Rights
Does my state give parents the right to consent for their child to get an abortion?
Yes: Notice and consent from one parent is required; however, a minor can obtain permission from the courts to receive an abortion without parental notice or consent. Also, notice and consent are not required if the minor declares that she is abused or neglected and the attending physician has reason to suspect abuse or neglect as defined in Va. Code § 63.2-100. The physician must report the suspected abuse or neglect in accordance with § 63.2-1509. If there is a medical emergency, notice and consent will not be required. Va. Code §16.1-241.
Does my state have conscience protections for medical professionals who do not want to participate in abortions?
Yes: A written objection is required which can only be revoked in writing with the facility where that original objection is filed. Va. Code §18.2-75.
Babies Born Alive
Are there legal protections for babies born alive following a botched abortion in my state?
Yes: during a third trimester abortion only, “measures for life support for the [unborn child] must be available and utilized if there is any clearly visible evidence of viability.” Va. Code §18.2-74(c).
Safety & Health of Women
Does an abortion have to be provided by a licensed physician in my state?
No: For the first trimester, any physician licensed by the Board of Medicine to practice medicine and surgery, or any person jointly licensed by the Boards of Medicine and Nursing as a nurse practitioner and acting within the scope of practice, may perform an abortion. S.B. 975, 183rd Legis., Reg. Sess. (Va. 2023).
For the third trimester, an abortion may only be performed by a physician licensed by the Board of Medicine and the procedure has to be performed at a licensed hospital. Va. Code §18.2-74.
Does my state’s law require that a woman give informed consent and/or receive counseling prior to allowing an abortion to be performed?
Yes: Written consent is required by the woman, or if the woman is incapacitated, then consent must be given by someone authorized and competent. S.B. 975, 183rd Legis., Reg. Sess. (Va. 2023).
Does my state place any waiting requirement on abortion so that a mother has more time to decide?