Elevating Women in Politics, from Galax to Gainesville

January 2023



Dear NWPC-VA Members,


I am honored and delighted to again be President of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Virginia. In 2023 we find ourselves fighting not only for our rights as women but fighting for democracy as well. We are up to the challenge!


Virginia will see a historic number of elections in 2023, and I am proud to see the number of women who have stepped up and out to run for public office. This is the year that Virginia will make history by sending our first African American woman to Congress from the 4th Congressional District! We take pride in endorsing Senator Jennifer McClellan to join the Virginia Congressional Delegation. While the race is still to be run, we will do everything in our power to claim this victory.


On the advocacy side, we will again be playing offense and defense, working hard to ensure full access to health care including abortion care. We have built critical partnerships over the past two years, and we will build more.


Skill, savvy and foresight can be taught and fostered; our mentoring program will help even more women successfully run for office and claim the power that is rightfully ours!


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




Andrea Miller

NWPC-VA President, 2023-24



Members, welcome to GA 2023! The NWPC-VA Board has chosen the following policy priorities for this session: reproductive rights and maternal healthcare. We are advocating for the bills listed below by subject area. In addition, NWPC-VA is partnering with several sister organizations to make our advocacy more effective. Sponsoring legislators and partner organizations are included with the bill information. Please contact your representatives and urge them to support this legislation.

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.

Sponsors: Senate, Ghazala F. Hashmi

Why we support this: In line with the NWPC-VA’s mission statement, we believe in giving all Virginia women the freedom to control their own bodies.

Sister organizations also advocating for this billVREAGeneration Ratify VA 

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.

Sponsors: House, Christopher T. Head (chief patron)

Why we support this: The US is the only high resource nation with a consistently rising mortality rate despite spending more money per capita on maternal health than any other country. In its Scorecard on maternal health released November 2020, the March of Dimes graded Virginia a “C” on the state’s preterm birth rates, which are 54% higher for Black women among all other women. Increasing evidence indicates that racism across multiple levels of the U.S. health system is a key cause of these disparities in maternal mortality.

Sister organizations also advocating for this billVirginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy


Related legislation: SB 1440Board of Medicine; continuing education; implicit bias and cultural competency in health care

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.

Sponsors: House, Dawn M. Adams

Why we support this: This would expand coverage and improve access to treatment for common complications during childbirth.

Sister organizations also advocating for this billVirginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy(fact sheet)

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.

Sponsors: House, Sam Rasoul (chief patron); Senate, Barbara A. Favola

Why we support this: This would address the gaps in access to health care for parents, especially in low-income communities.

Sister organizations also advocating for this billVirginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy

If you plan to advocate in person at the Capitol, please see the 2023 General Assembly Advocacy Day Calendar on our website for the list of partner organizations’ advocacy days, along with details about transportation and lodging.




CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT: HJ 519, 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.

Sponsors: House, Charniele L. Herring (chief patron)Candi Mundon King (chief co-patron); Senate, Barbara A. Favola 

Why we support this: In line with the NWPC-VA’s mission statement, we believe in giving all Virginia women the freedom to control their own bodies, including accessing abortion care.

Sister organizations also advocating for this billVREA, AAUWGeneration Ratify VA 

Related legislationHB 1395, Rights beginning at conception; HB 1488, Abortion, use of public funds prohibited; HB 1736, Family life curriculum, viewing ultrasound; HB 1795, Abortion, born alive infant; HB 1865, provision of abortion based on disability; HB 2270, Provision of abortion, right to informed consent; HB 2278, Abortion when lawful, 15 weeks; SB 1243, Abortion-prohibitions on extradition; SR 87, Right to life

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




New year, some new faces on the board, same commitment to uplifting women in politics in Virginia! Interested in getting involved? Email the VP or regional representative of your choice below and see where you fit in!



Support Reproductive Rights in Virginia: Sign VREA’s No Abortion Ban 

As a newly merged coalition, the Virginia Reproductive Equity Alliance (VREA) seeks to further integrate reproductive justice into the culture, mission and vision of how our work will be informed, the reproductive justice framework will serve as a beacon towards progress. VREA will strive to implement a full multi-pronged approach to serving the reproductive health, rights and justice movements by incorporating grassroots advocacy, community education and legislative tactics. Sign the petition against abortion bans here.

Say No to Polluting Virginia’s Waters: Oppose HB 1623

Delegate Thomas C. Wright, Jr. (R, HD 61) is proposing a rollback of reporting requirements on the level of toxic substances in state waters, results of annual groundwater examinations, and statutes requiring the Department Environmental Quality to report annually on its pollution prevention activities and to publish the Virginia Toxic Release Inventory each year. Virginians deserve clean water. We can’t go backwards on the environment. Please write your representatives and ask them to vote NO on HB 1623.

Say No to Rollbacks on Bail Reform; Oppose HB 1365 

This bill would be a major rewrite of the Virginia Code section dealing with bail that would undo the bail reform enacted in 2021. The bill states that persons who have been charged with any acts of violence should not be given bail, along with persons who have prior felony convictions of any kind. In addition, the list of circumstances that would make a person ineligible for bail includes 13 other points as well including being illegally present in the United States. Learn more here about the bill. Please write your representatives and ask them to vote NO on HB 1365.



Washington Senator Patty Murray has been elected Senate President Pro Tempore, becoming the first woman to hold the job since its inception. She succeeds Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and is now third in the line of presidential succession. Her responsibilities in that position include presiding over the Senate in the absence of the vice president, appointing the director of the Congressional Budget Office (jointly with the Speaker of the House), along with Senate legislative and legal counsel. The president pro tempore also makes appointments to various national commissions and receives reports from certain government agencies.  

Elected in 1992 as a “mom in tennis shoes,” former teacher Murray rose to become a committee chair and has served on the Veterans' Affairs, Budget, and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees. She has been a strong advocate for paid leave and child care as well as education and the environment. Regarding her new role, she told the Associated Press “Women now have been here long enough that we can assume positions of power that we never thought possible when I came into the Senate.” 

Read more about Senator Murray here.




January 22: Bigger than Roe National Day of Action with the Women’s March (In-Person & Online)

The Women’s March is hosting a National Day of Action on Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, mourning the loss of nearly 50 years of constitutional protections and sending messages to our officials that this fight is not over. Live events will take place in Washington DC and around Virginia including Norfolk and Williamsburg. The virtual session begins at 1:00 p.m. EST. Learn more here.

January 23: VREA’s Day of Advocacy at the Capitol (In-Person)

We're calling on all reproductive justice advocates and allies to join us at the Virginia Capitol on January 23 for a day of advocacy. Anti-abortion legislators are more emboldened than ever before to push abortion bans, restrictions, and attacks on bodily autonomy through the General Assembly. We need you to help us stop them in their tracks! Register here.

January 29, 6 p.m.: NWPC-VA Policy Monthly Meeting (Online)

Zoom link to follow.


February 1, 6:30 p.m.: Monthly Membership Meeting (Online)


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



February 26, 6 p.m.: NWPC-VA Policy Monthly Meeting (Online)

Zoom link to follow.

February 21, US House of Representatives Special Election (In-Person)

District 4 (Richmond/Petersburg/Chesapeake/Henrico/): Leon Benjamin Sr. (R) vs. Jennifer McClellan (D) are running to fill the vacancy created by Rep. Don McEachin’s death. Early voting began on Jan. 7. Here are the key dates for this election.

  • The deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration is February 14, 2023 (Voters may register after this date, through Election Day, and vote using a provisional ballot).

  • The deadline to apply for a ballot to be mailed to you is February 10, 2023. Your request must be received by your local voter registration office by 5:00 p.m.

  • The voter registration offices open for early voting on Saturday, February 11, 2022. 

The last day of in-person early voting at your local voter registration office is Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 5 p.m.


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