Reproductive Healthcare Information

Reproductive Rights in Virginia

  • Abortion is legal in the first trimester of a pregnancy when performed by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner. See Va. Code § 18.2-72.
     
  • Abortion is also legal in the second trimester if performed by a licensed physician in a hospital “licensed by the State Department of Health or operated by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.” See Va. Code § 18.2-73.
     
  • After the second trimester of pregnancy, abortion is lawful only if performed in a duly licensed hospital, “[t]he physician and two consulting physicians certify and so enter in the hospital record of the woman, that in their medical opinion, based on their best clinical judgment, the continuation of the pregnancy is likely to result in the death of the woman or substantially and irremediably impair the mental or physical health of the woman,” and life support measures for the fetus “must be available and utilized if there is any clearly visible evidence of viability.” See Va. Code § 18.2-74.
     
  • Notwithstanding these provisions, pursuant to Va. Code § 18.2-74.1, abortion is always lawful if, in the opinion of a licensed physician, it is necessary to save the mother’s life.

 

Consent in Virginia

In all of the situations above, informed consent must be provided by the patient in accordance with Va. Code § 18.2-76. Partial birth infanticide, as defined in Va. Code § 18.2-71.1, is a Class 4 felony.

Pursuant to Va. Code § 16.1-241, a juvenile must either have the consent of an “authorized person” to obtain an abortion, or they can ask the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court for an order permitting the abortion absent the consent of the “authorized person” An “authorized person” is defined in Va. Code § 16.1-241 as “(i) a parent or duly appointed legal guardian or custodian of the minor or (ii) a person standing in loco parentis, including, but not limited to, a grandparent or adult sibling with whom the minor regularly and customarily resides and who has care and control of the minor.”

Women's Health Resources

Individuals are advised to contact their primary care provider regarding any health care need or concern. If you do not have a primary care provider or wish to contact providers of specific services directly, use the Human Services Resource Guide, a searchable database of nonprofit and government services and providers, including reproductive healthcare service providers. Use search terms (e.g. reproductive, abortion, women's health, etc.) to locate relevant services.

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