Your Guide to Abortion Law in Virginia


Abortion had been a dialectic between reproductive activists and pro-life fundamentalists.

Historically the abortion restrictions were due to regressive and less developed medical facilities that put the health of pregnant women in jeopardy, it was considered sinful by religious fundamentalists as it has the right to be born and divisive to morality.

Your Guide to Abortion Law in Virginia

The abortion access was on circumstances inclusive of when there is a risk of life, rape and incest cases, severe fetus abnormalities, socio-economic factors, and grave danger to mental and physical health.

Read on to find out more about abortion law in Virginia.

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According to a study by a turn away on abortion, individuals who undergo an abortion have better mental health than those who are prohibited. Although abortion doesn’t cause stress or anxiety, some individuals may experience emotional distress after having one.

In the United States, 60% of women who have abortions are already parents, and they consider the necessity to care for their existing children as their primary motivation.

Children whose mothers were prohibited from having an abortion are less likely to accomplish developmental milestones like language and fine and gross motor skills.

In the post-roe-dobbin era, the federal states have been granted the freedom to enact their laws for abortion rights.

This insinuated the situation where states have the potential to either protect abortion or put restrictions on the subject or can become a draconian law by totally banning it.

When did Abortion Become Legal in Virginia?

Roe V Wade newspaper headline with red Overturned stamp on the United States Constitution
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By legalizing Abortion for pregnant women, Virginia is one of many states in the USA to conclude when it comes to abortion. To understand Virginia’s stand on Abortion in this custody Socioeconomic and political factors had been observed in the state.

The precedent developed in Griswold set the stage for the most contentious abortion decision of the twentieth century, Roe v. Wade 1973.

McCorvey alias, Jane Roe brought a lawsuit against Henry Wade, the district attorney, and contested a Texas abortion law that prohibits abortion except if the life of the expectant mother is in danger.

She was twenty-one years old and carrying her third child. She was made a victim of the law that barred abortions and was compelled to carry the pregnancy to term.

The legal issue in the case at the time her lawsuit was heard by the Apex Court was the dichotomy between the mother’s right to manage her body and the life of the child.

In 1975 The US Supreme Court held Bigelow v. Virginia case that state constraints on abortion clinics’ authority to publicize their services were unconstitutional.

The American Civil Liberties Union appealed the Supreme Court’s decision in 1972 on behalf of a Charlottesville, Virginia newspaper editor who had posted an ad for a New York abortion referral service (where abortion was legal).

The state of Virginia accused the editor, Jeffrey C. Bigelow, of infringing a statute that made it unlawful to advocate abortions by speeches, commercials, or any other measures. Bigelow was held responsible and had to pay a hefty fine.

The Virginia Supreme Court upheld his conviction and disregarded his First Implications by citing the limited protections for commercial marketing.

The Roe decision caused the justices to remand Bigelow to Virginia, where the state judge granted his conviction. Bigelow appealed against, due to aggrieved from the previous decision to the Apex Court.

The Court also emphasized the political dimension of abortion and the notion that it is a basic right that is safeguarded by the Constitution.

Bigelow percent was set as a groundwork for later judgments in Virginia. Justice Blackmun overruled a state statute that forbade pharmacists from discussing prescription medicine rates in Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council.

Attacks targeting abortion clinics rose exponentially in the United States in 1982, including in Virginia.

In Virginia Beach, Virginia, on May 9, 2007, a Planned Parenthood Virginia center was deliberately set on fire by an anonymous attacker.

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In 2013, In addition to abortion clinics, medication-induced abortions and private medical offices were addressed by the state’s Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers (TRAP) act.

State law prohibits abortion after week 25 as of mid-May 2019. On April 10, 2020, the Democratic Virginia Governor approved bills that stripped away laws that require abortion claimants to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before having an abortion and to start receiving psychotherapy on abortion alternatives.

They also eliminated the requirement that facilities conducting more than five abortions annual basis be designated as hospitals and enabled nurse practitioners to perform abortions in the first trimester.

The notoriously contentious case of Dobbs v. Jackson was ruled, overturning the decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, and ruled that abortion rights are absent from the Bill of Rights.

Virginia Abortion Law 2022

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The Senate Bill enacts the Protection of Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act. The Law prohibited unplanned pregnancies after 20 weeks of pregnancy unless,

  1. In the perception of a reasonable medical professional,
  2. The mother has a condition that renders her current health so complex that abortion is required to avoid either her death or a serious risk of significant and irrecoverable physical disability of a major bodily function.

The doctor or approved nurse practitioner is obligated to terminate the pregnancy in a way that would provide the unborn child with the best chance of survival when an abortion is not restricted after 20 weeks gestation.

According to the proposed bill, executing an abortion in contravention of the Act is a Class 6 misdemeanour.

A doctor or certified nurse practitioner who administers an abortion in contravention of the law is vulnerable to civil remedies under the bill.

If a woman who has had an abortion performed on her or attempted to have one performed on her does not consent to such disclosure, the court must determine whether to defend her anonymity from a public epiphany in any civil or criminal case or action taken according to this article.

Techniques Used for Abortion

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Operated abortion techniques will include:-

  1. Abortion performed with medication, such as that achieved with methotrexate/misoprostol or mifepristone;
  2. physically aspirating a vacuum; Aspiration of electrical vacuum; Evacuation and dilation;
  3. Combining dilatation and evacuation with induction abortion; Intra-amniotic instillation during induction abortion, which may include but is not limited to saline or urea;
  4. Prostaglandin-induced abortion;
  5. A partial birth with intact dilatation and extraction; or Other induction abortions;
  6. Not listed method (specify).

What are abortion laws in Virginia for Minors?

According to Virginia’s law with parents’ or guardians’ consent, the minor will be allowed to access abortion rights. If the support is not by an authorized person then the court will authorize a physician for making such a decision.

Virginia abortion laws how many weeks in 2020?

As per Virginia abortion can be operated on up to 20 weeks into pregnancy. After this period specific abortions are only sanctioned by law.

The restrictions had been imposed after 20 weeks gestation period. After 20 weeks abortion will be performed only if it harms the life of a pregnant woman or affects her physical or mental health greatly.

Virginia restrictions on abortion?

United States Reproductive Rights Loss and abortion laws or US abortions law in America as a legal concept for reproduction as a uterus being erased with 3D illustration elements.
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Virginia had legalized abortions up to 20 weeks and postfertilization or in the third trimester of the pregnancy, the state had acknowledged few restrictions on abortions.

Only situations in third-trimester gestation involving fetus impairment, rape, incest, or life endangerment are covered by abortion reimbursements under medical insurance for public employees.

Before administering an abortion, the guardian of a minor must provide permission and be informed.

Only in crises of embryonic impairment, rape, incest, or life endangerment is public funding for abortion available.

Abortion is only permitted in the third trimester if the pregnant woman’s health and life are in danger.

EndNote: Abortion Law in Virginia

Abortion laws are important, not only to save the future of the mother but also not to risk the unborn/unwanted baby who would not have a good life even if it is born.

The question of whose right to life it is is still pending, but we are no judge of that. This article was all about the abortion laws in Virginia, hope you found it insightful!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Virginia have a total abortion ban?

No, in Virginia, abortion is permitted. Yet, Virginia restricts access to abortion and outlaws it beyond 26 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy.

2. Is abortion illegal in all of the USA?

It is anticipated that around half of the states will try to pass abortion restrictions or gestational age restrictions. Until courts decide whether prohibitions can go into force, abortion is still permitted in several of these states for the time being.

In the remaining states, where abortion is still allowed, further protections have been implemented since Dobbs.

3. What did Roe v. Wade protect?

Abortion became legal nationwide on January 22, 1973, as a result of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

It gave many patients the freedom to receive the care they required when they required it — free from fear — and safeguarded the right to lawfully access abortion throughout the nation.

Also, explore where is abortion legal in the World for amazing insights.

Previous articleWhere is Abortion Legal in the World?
Next articleWhen was Abortion legal in California?
Advocate Nishtha, completed her Law degree from Khalsa College of Law, India in 2022 and had a more than 5 years of comprehensive experience in legal research work and writing in-depth articles for International and National Journals. She is well-versed in writing legal articles and had written multiple articles inter alias International Relations, Internal tranquility, Drug abuse and Gender bias. She had an experience in content writing and had been the Head of Media Management team of a fitness firm's social media handle for 2 years.


  1. This guide on abortion laws in Virginia was so informative! The historical context, legal milestones, and the current state of affairs were laid out in a way that made a complex topic easy to grasp. Kudos to the writer for breaking it down with clarity and shedding light on such an important issue.


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