NIRH Congratulates Virginia Legislature on Repeal of Discriminatory Abortion Coverage Ban

March 15, 2021
CONTACT: Tara Sweeney, [email protected]

With other states introducing restrictions on abortion access and the Supreme Court titled firmly away from reproductive freedom, Virginia expands abortion access for second year in a row

New York – The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and NIRH Action Fund applaud the Virginia legislature, governor, and advocates for pushing the repeal of the state’s discriminatory abortion coverage ban over the finish line. Governor Northam signed the repeal on Friday, removing the current prohibition on private insurance plans from offering abortion coverage on the Virginia Healthcare Exchange.

“Discriminatory abortion coverage bans disproportionately impact people of color, low-income people, and other marginalized communities – and the elected leaders of Virginia truly serve their constituents by ensuring insurance providers cannot discriminate against abortion care,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health and NIRH Action Fund. “Many people seeking abortion care struggle to pay for this health care procedure out of pocket, and especially in light of ongoing unemployment and financial struggles caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, making abortion more accessible is of critical importance. Abortion is health care and should be covered accordingly.”

As part of its national strategy to safeguard abortion access, NIRH and its Action Fund have partnered with advocates in Virginia for nearly a decade to push forward an affirmative narrative and proactive policy on abortion access and to elect champions for reproductive freedom.  Repeal of the abortion coverage exchange ban is the second victory in two years for abortion access in Virginia, building on last year’s passage of the Reproductive Health Protection Act that rolled back a host of other medically unjustified restrictions on abortion access.


The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund (NIRH Action Fund) are advocacy groups that fight to protect and advance just and equitable access to reproductive health care and build political power for reproductive freedom. Working hand-in-hand with reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations in states and cities across the country, NIRH and NIRH Action Fund build coalitions, launch campaigns, change policy, and elect candidates who stand up for everyone’s right to control their reproductive lives. Their strategy is to go on the offensive to pass laws that safeguard reproductive freedom. They work in the communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart.