7:30am silent protest outside of the Virginia Board of Health, as they vote on the proposed Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers (TRAP). For those West of downtown near VCU, carpooling is available at the corner of Main St and Laurel, across the street from the Landmark theater, 7am.

These regulations are politically motivated attempts to restrict abortion access in Virginia- if they pass, anti-abortion groups won’t have to challenge Roe V. Wade in court, because they’ll have effectively made abortion unavailable without making it illegal. As of now, 17 of Virginia’s 21 abortion clinics (which also provide vital services like cancer screening and birth control to underserved people) will shut down if these regulations pass. Virginia will have the worst reproductive care access in the entire country.

This is incredibly important.

Here’s a scary story for you this Halloween: This Fall, DHHS is going to write new rules for women’s health centers, these new rules will likely be burdensome and medically unnecessary restrictions designed to limit women’s access to reproductive healthcare. We need your help to hold DHHS accountable. 

Join the Rapid Response Squad & share our graphic with your FB friends, we need all hands on deck:http://bit.ly/RRSquad

Oppose TRAP: Report 1 from the Board of Health

I’ve just returned from the Virginia Board of Health meeting. When I left, public comment was ongoing, and the vote had not yet been taken.

Here is what I saw: I arrived around 7:30am at the building where the Board of Health meets. Protesters with signs, stickers, and buttons lined the lot, with the OK of the police officers standing in the building. The count at 8:00am was 130 protesters, the count at 9:00am was 175 protesters. The crowd was quiet, and didn’t impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic. Three media outlets were present.

While there were only two Henrico police officers present on location, an unmarked police van driven by a Henrico officer parked in the side parking lot, and cruisers circled the building and its parking lot. Across the street in the lot of an adjacent building, visible but not obvious from where we were standing, were 23 Henrico police cruisers, one Henrico PD Mobile Command Center, and a small group of officers in tactical gear. These police vehicles and personnel were present from 7:00am onward, but had left at around noon when I went outside to look again.

All of the protesters were inside at the hearing by about 9:00am. The hearing (which is ongoing as of now) was held on the second floor; not everyone could fit in the room, because the building officials required (ostensibly for fire code reasons) that everyone in the room must have a seat. There were unoccupied seats, segregated from the others, identified as press box, and after some argument, protesters were allowed to sit in the unoccupied press seats. The Fire Marshall was called.

The public comment period began immediately after the first break, and was ongoing when I left the hearing. The majority of the comments spoke against the Targeted Regulations of Abortion Providers, although Virginia Women for Life and the Family Foundation were represented.

I’ll post more when I hear more.

Live footage of the hearing should be available locally on CBS 6.

From those who brought you Speak Loudly With Silence and related protests, a day of action to protest the proposed TRAP regulations. This will be a silent protest beginning at 7:30am, at 9960 Mayland Drive, Richmond VA 23233. Maryland and Gaskins Streets, Perimeter Center.

From the event description: “CALL FOR ACTION: On June 15th at 7:30 am, we call for 500 women (but men are very welcome and wanted!) to line either side of the walkway at the entrance to the Perimeter Center. We will do so in SILENCE as Board of Health members enter the building to vote on the permane…nt regulations that unfairly target abortion providers (TRAP). These regulations will shut down many clinics in VA. and are oppressive to women, reproductive rights, and access.
Signs, Banners, T-Shirts, All Welcome!
*Please visit http://www.facebook.com/OpposeTRAP for more info on these regulations, and http://www.facebook.com/events/393130917387537/ for other actions to be taken.

NO ACCESS! = NO CHOICE!

Sign up to speak to the Board will begin at 8:00 am, and the meeting (which is open to the public will begin @ 9:00.)

***Important note: if you can’t attend this event please “decline” it. We are trying our best to get accurate numbers ***”

OpposeTRAP also has a Tumblr.

CoochWatch 2012 (the same folks who brought us the the last four or five significant protests in defense of access to reproductive health) is publicizing for the September 14th Board of Health meeting, where it appears we will be required to yet again pressure the board members not to shut down the vast majority of Virginia’s clinics.

They are employing a social media tactic to spread the word. Please share the image through the title link, and RSVP to Round Three of OpposeTRAP: The People vs. Ken Cuccinelli.

They are also holding this campaign to demand that John Seeds, recent appointee to the Board of Health who maintains a hardline anti-abortion stance, recuse himself from the decision.

Brought to you by Speak Loudly With Silence (the organizers responsible for the March 3rd, February 20th, etc protests). There will be a meeting from 9am- 11am at the School of Social Work at VCU located at 1001 W Franklin St in Richmond, to discuss tactics to resist the targeted abortion clinic regulations due to go before the Board of Health later this month. Signs will point you to the conferance room. It is mobility accessible, and light snacks will be served.

RSVP on the linked Facebook event.

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