What the Reproductive Health Protection Act Means for You: July 1 and Beyond…
In April 2020, Governor Northam signed the Reproductive Health Protection Act (RHPA) into law — a law which rolls back certain restrictions placed on abortion care in the Commonwealth of Virginia nearly a decade ago. The passage of RHPA through the Virginia House and Senate and across the governor’s desk is a victory which affirms the rights of pregnant people in Virginia to make decisions about their own bodies without the state coming between themselves and their health care practitioners. We at FCHC are proud to have been part of the process to emphasize the importance of RHPA to the legislators and voters of Virginia.
Here’s some of what we’re looking forward to at FCHC on July 1 when RHPA takes effect:
- We are returning to the way we safely welcomed patients for abortion care in one visit as when we opened in 2002. Beginning on July 1 patients will no longer be subject to a 24-hour waiting period between visits to our Center. FCHC was able to do so safely and responsibly in a single visit until the restrictions of 2011. This benefits our patients by saving time and resources. It means no longer having to take off an extra day of work. Or to find transportation to our Center for an additional day. Or to secure childcare for that extra day. All making abortion care more accessible for our patients and those who choose it.
- We will have the opportunity to prioritize more time and resources to patient care. We now have more of an opportunity to provide our patients the care and attention they deserve. Over the past several years, FCHC had to to jump through certain hoops mandated in 2011 by the Virginia Legislature. The RHPA removes these restrictions!
- Now an ultrasound can be a decision made solely between patient and provider as it was always as a part of patient care.. The decision of what is best for the patient will no longer be mandated by the Legislature; instead, it will be based on a conversation between patients and their doctor and allow for our patients’ individual decisions. We celebrate our patients having more autonomy and consent regarding their bodies and their reproductive healthcare.
- During adjustments for COVID and respect for our patients time we will be able work to minimize the amount of time patients need to be in our facility.. With more opportunities to complete intake paperwork and make informed choices about their abortion care online, patients can schedule their appointments and become prepared during off-hours at home rather than have to wait for processing while waiting in our lobby. Especially during this time of COVID we’re looking to make the patient experience as healthy, safe and relaxed as possible as we follow our physical distancing guidelines in our facility.
As an independent care facility, we’ve been working with all of our staff to determine how best to serve our patients with possibilities which will become open to us. We’re determining how this may expand our scheduling opportunities and possibilities for remote consultation! We’ll be sure to keep you posted as we introduce and roll out these changes to provide the best possible opportunities for our patients.
We’re excited about these changes — and we hope you are, too!