February 2023



Dear NWPC-VA Members,

The National Women’s Political Caucus of Virginia extends our heartfelt congratulations to our 2023 endorsed candidate, Senator Jennifer McClellan, now Representative-Elect McClellan, the first African American woman elected to Congress from Virginia and the fourth woman from the Commonwealth. Jennifer McClellan posted a resounding victory, winning 74 per cent of the vote. We want to say thank you for your incredible service to the women of Virginia for the past 18 years. We look forward to the work you will do to advance women’s rights at the federal level.

Candidate endorsement is our “super power” at NWPC-VA, and 2023 is our year in Virginia! In November, every seat in the Virginia General Assembly will be on the ballot, and Virginia is a bellwether state that will set the stage for the 2024 Presidential election. There are currently 46 women serving in the Virginia General Assembly, and we have the opportunity to increase that number and move our legislative agenda forward again.

The 50th Anniversary National Women’s Political Caucus Convention will be held in Richmond from August 11 through August 13. Make your plans to join us in person to celebrate all the hard work we did in 2022, the special election that made history when we sent Senator Jennifer McClellan to Congress, and the gains we made in the General Assembly.

Let’s grow together both as committed activists and as the National Women’s Political Caucus of Virginia.

I look forward to seeing all of you in Richmond as we prepare for the November General Election and celebrate our 2022 and 2023 victories!


Andrea Miller, President, 2023-24

National Women’s Political Caucus-Virginia 



During GA2023, NWPC-VA has been championing five bills focusing on reproductive rights and healthcare. Our partner organizations include VREA,Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Generation Ratify VA, and AAUW. An update on the status of each bill follows. Thanks to all who have been advocating for this legislation.

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: SJ255, Fundamental Right to Reproductive Freedom

Provides that every individual has the fundamental right to reproductive freedom and that the right to make and effectuate one's own decisions about all matters related to one's pregnancy cannot be denied, burdened, or otherwise infringed upon by the Commonwealth, unless justified by a compelling state interest and achieved by the least restrictive means.

This resolution, sponsored by Senators McClellan and Boysko, Delegates Herring and King, passed the Senate on 02/07/23 by a vote of 21-18, when it was sent to the House. On 02/17, the House Courts of Justice Subcommittee voted to "pass by indefinitely" this amendment to protect reproductive freedom in Virginia.

After a House committee voted down the Constitutional Amendment, Delegate Marcus Simon introduced a rule change resolution on 02/15: HR 323, which if successful, would have brought the Constitutional Amendment to a vote by the full 100 members of the House. On 02/23, the House voted to defeat the rule change (50-Y 45-N), thereby preventing a full vote on SJ255 as well as preventing Virginians from having the opportunity to vote for the amendment in a referendum which would protect reproductive rights. Be sure and check how your delegate voted here so you can hold them accountable in November.

The Virginia Reproductive Equity Alliance (of which NWPC-VA is a member) advocated for this amendment throughout the GA, including a Speak Out event at Capitol Square on 02/23. Watch our socials and theirs for updates on the aftermath of this vote.

CONTRACEPTIVE BILL: SB 1112Health insurance; coverage for prescription contraceptives

Requires health insurance carriers to provide coverage, under any health insurance contract, policy, or plan that includes coverage for prescription drugs on an outpatient basis, for any prescribed contraceptive drug or contraceptive device.

Senator Hashmi’s SB 1112 passed the Senate with bipartisan support (26-Y 13-N) and was referred to the House Committee on Commerce and Energy on 02/10/23. On 02/16, the bill was killed with a 4-2 vote to lay it on the table. Senator Hashmi responded, “Around 400,000 women in Virginia face barriers in accessing contraception. Lack of access disproportionately impacts low income and rural communities.”

Meanwhile HB 2089, the House version of the bill sponsored by Delegate King, was killed in the House Commerce & Energy Subcommittee #4 (5-Y 1-N) and was left in Commerce and Energy on 02/07/23.

This is an unfortunate end to a bill that promised expanded access to family planning resources. The killing of this bill and related legislation should not be forgotten this fall during Election Season. 

IMPLICIT BIAS BILL: HB 1734, Continuing education; implicit bias and cultural competency in health care

Requires the Board of Medicine to adopt and implement policies that require each practitioner licensed by the Board who has direct contact with persons who are or may become pregnant to complete two hours of continuing education related to implicit bias, defined in the bill, and cultural competency in health care at least once every other license renewal cycle.

Delegate Head’s HB 1734 was referred to the House Subcommittee #3 of Health, Welfare, and Institutions. On 02/07/23, it was left in Health, Welfare, and Institutions.

SB 1440, a related Senate bill on implicit bias sponsored by Senator Locke, was assigned to the Education and Health Subcommittee: Health Professions. On 02/02/23 the committee voted to pass by indefinitely in Education and Health with letter (15-Y 0-N). The letter indicates that the bill will be studied further so that it can be reintroduced next year.

MIDWIVES & MEDICATION BILL: HB 1511, Midwifery; administration of medication

Allows licensed midwives to obtain, possess, and administer drugs and devices within the scope of their practice. The bill limits liability of entities that provide or dispense drugs or devices to a licensed midwife and that rely in good faith upon the license information provided by the licensed midwife.

Delegate Adams’ bill passed unanimously in the House (98-Y 0-N). It crossed over and was referred to the Senate Committee on Education and Health. On 02/09/23, the bill was reported from the Senate Education and Health Committee with substitute (15-Y 0-N), then passed the Senate with substitute (40-Y 0-N). The companion bill in the Senate, SB1275 sponsored by Senator Dunnavant, passed the Senate unanimously on 02/13/23.  And it then passed the House unanimously on 02/15/23! *This bill will be sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.* 

PERINATAL HEALTH ACCESS BILL: HB 1567, Perinatal health; VDH, et al., to evaluate strategies to reduce maternal & infant mortality rates

Directs the Department of Health, in collaboration with the Virginia Neonatal Perinatal Collaborative, the Virginia Maternal Quality Care Alliance, and Urban Baby Beginnings, to convene a work group of stakeholders to evaluate strategies to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates and make recommendations to enhance maternal health and public health support systems through expansion of the perinatal health hub model.

Delegate Rasoul’sHB1567 unanimously passed out of Appropriations and passed through three floor votes in the House on the block of bills uncontested! There is no Senate version. On 02/06/23 the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Rules, where it reported out of committee unanimously on 02/10. It then passed the Senate unanimously on 02/14! *This bill will be sent to the Governor’s desk for signature.*  

Press Coverage of GA 2023

Stay up to date on the latest from Capitol Square with NWPC-VA’s social media channels and with these recommended press outlets.

NWPC-VA Socials: https://twitter.com/NwpcV,

https://www.instagram.com/NWPC_VA, https://www.facebook.com/NWPC_VA   

VPAP’s VA News: Political headlines from across Virginia


News from Virginia Public Media, NPR for Central Virginia


Virginia Politics Blog, Washington Post


Graham Moomaw, Politics and Policy Reporter, Virginia Mercury


Jeff Shapiro, Politics Columnist, Richmond Times-Dispatch




NWPC National endorsed Jennifer McClellan for Congress in the Special Election for Virginia’s 4th District! On Tuesday, February 21, Senator McClellan achieved an historic victory and will become the first Black woman to represent Virginia in Congress, filling the seat left open by the late Rep. Don McEachin. She will be one of four women in our eleven-member delegation to the House of Representatives. Let’s elect more women, Virginia!



This month NWPC-VA spotlights the work of Kimberlé Crenshaw, a pioneering scholar and writer on civil rights, constitutional law, and racism and the law. She coined the term “intersectionality,” the concept which explores the discrimination that minority women face due to intersecting social identities of ethnicity, sexuality, and class. Crenshaw is also a founder of critical race theory, the cross-disciplinary study of how laws, political movements, and media are shaped by notions of race and ethnicity. She is the co-founder and director of the African American Policy Forum. She is the author of six books including Black Girls Matter and Mapping the Margins. She teaches at Columbia Law School and UCLA School of Law.



Keep Virginia in RGGI

Virginia became the first state in the South to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).The successful program has raised millions of dollars for low-income housing improvements and flood mitigation as well as reduced air pollution. As the state’s Air Pollution Control Board seeks to overstep its authority and repeal it, we must act and speak up to let the board know their actions will not be accepted without a fight. Send a message to Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board.

Speak Out About Virginia’s History and Social Science Standards

The Virginia Board of Education voted to accept for first review the newest draft of the controversial history and social science standards in a 5-3 vote at the end of January after public comment. Many of the meeting’s speakers accused the board of “whitewashing” parts of history and excluding issues such as the American labor movement. Public hearings are scheduled to begin on March 13 and run to March 21 at five locations in Virginia. Final approval is expected April 20. Follow the news with Virginia Mercury’s education coverage. Add your comments here or attend a public hearing.

Tell Congress to Support Paid Family and Medical Leave

This year is the 30th anniversary of the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), providing about 60% of working people unpaid, job-protected leave when they are unable to work due to a serious health condition or because they need to care for a loved one with a serious health condition. The FMLA was a huge step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. Congress needs to act to pass paid leave for all this year. Contact your representative with this tool from MomsRising.Org.



February 27, 6:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Policy Team Meeting (Online)


February 28, 10:00 a.m.: Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on the Equal Rights Amendment (In-Person and Online)

The committee will explore how Congress can recognize ratification and enshrine equality in our Constitution. The in-person hearing will take place in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The ERA Coalition will livestream the hearing on their Facebook page.

February 28, 6:30 p.m.: NWPC-VA Northwest Regional Meeting (Online)

Special Guest Rachel Walsh de Iga, one of the artists featured in Artists 4 ERA Virginia Edition will join us for our February meeting. Rachel worked closely with Kati Hornung during the VAratifyERA campaign and many of you are already familiar with her work. The campaign’s buttons and the bus design are examples of Rachel’s work. Also on the agenda are updates from the General Assembly from Jennifer Gaylor and plans for the trip on March 4.



March 1, 6:30 p.m.: NWPC-VA Monthly Membership Meeting (Online)


March 4: NWPC-VA Northwest Regional Members’ Field Trip to the Virginia Museum of History and Culture (In-Person)

The VoteEquality Artists4ERA exhibit will be up in Richmond until June 4. Please complete this form if you are interested in attending. Preview the exhibition here.

March 11, 10:30 a.m.: Harrisonburg’s Seventh International Women’s Day Celebration (In-Person)

“Embracing Equity” is the 2023 theme. Participants will gather at Harrisonburg City Hall on South Main Street 10:30 a.m., then walk along the sidewalk to Court Square for the main program, beginning by 11:00 a.m. Harrisonburg Mayor Deanna Reed will welcome participants. The program of speakers, musicians, and dancers will conclude before noon. Go to the Harrisonburg International Women’s Day Facebook page for updated information and photos of women illustrating this year’s theme. Wear your NWPC-VA buttons, carry a bag, and let’s walk together!

March 14, 4:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Endorsements Monthly Meeting (Online)


March 23, 6:00-7:00 p.m.: NWPC-VA Salon Series, Black Women Writers at Work (Online)

Join us for our Women's History Month meeting as we discuss Black Women Writers at Work by Claudia Tate. Together we look into the connections between the lives and work of writers like Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Nikki Giovanni as well as celebrate the foundation they laid for those who have come after. Get more information and register here.



Wason Center for Civic Leadership: State of the Commonwealth 2023

Each year the Wason Center for Civic Leadership at Christopher Newport University publishes the results of its polls after surveying Virginians on their key concerns. Based on interviews conducted in January, a majority of 72% do not want any additional abortions bans in the commonwealth. Most think Virginia is headed in the right direction, especially compared to the country as a whole. Explore additional results below.

Summary of Key Findings

  1. A plurality of Virginians think the Commonwealth is headed in the right direction (45% to 37%), while 50% approve of the job Governor Youngkin is doing. Still, Virginians prefer that the Governor not run for president (59% to 29%).

  2. Virginians are pessimistic about the direction of the country (19% right direction to 73% wrong direction); dissatisfaction is reflected in Biden’s approval rating (38% approve to 57% disapprove).

  3. Virginia voters support recreational marijuana sales (60%) and allowing any interested localities to host casinos should their residents approve one in a referendum (55%).

  4. Virginia voters strongly support staying in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (66%) and support the Virginia Clean Economy Act (62% to 33%).

  5. 41% of Virginians Give Their Local Public Schools an “A” or “B” Grade; Only 13% Grade National Public Schools that High.

  6. Virginia voters also show support for requiring parental approval for K- 12 students to be referred to by a different pronoun from their birth certificate (59% to 36%).

  7. Virginians would prefer to keep state abortion laws as is (43%) compared to 29% who would prefer less restrictive laws and 23% who want more restrictive laws on abortion.

  8. A plurality of Virginia voters support lowering Virginia’s individual income tax heirate (48% to 43%), but oppose a cut to Virginia’s corporate income tax rate (57% to 37%).

For the full results and analysis, visit the Center’s website here.



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