FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 20, 2022
CONTACT: Billy Wolfe firstname.lastname@example.org
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Predicting this legislative session will be the most difficult they have seen, LGBTQ+ and reproductive freedom advocates are calling on their supporters to join in a collective day of action this week.
Multiple bills attacking the LGBTQ+ community and stripping away the constitutional right to an abortion have already been introduced, with two forced-birth bills already clearing one committee hurdle. The Fight for Freedom Day of Action, this Friday, Jan. 21, will include a full day of virtual activities for supporters to make their voices heard.
“This is shaping up to be the most brutal legislative session for LGBTQ+ people I’ve seen in my time in West Virginia,” said Andrew Schneider, executive director of Fairness West Virginia. “We’re expecting multiple attacks against LGBTQ+ people and the numerous victories we’ve been able to achieve. If you care about equality, now is the time to get involved. I hope everyone will join us for the Fight for Freedom Day of Action.”
“I cannot recall a time when so many bills attacking already marginalized people were not only introduced, but showed a real chance of being passed into law,” said Eli Baumwell, Advocacy Director for the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia. “These bills are not as popular as their sponsors think. We will not stand by, and our supporters will not stand by, while politicians attack vulnerable communities to try and score political points with their fringe base.”
Katie Quinonez, Women’s Health Center of West Virginia Executive Director, said: "The stakes could not be higher. On the first day of session, West Virginia politicians focused on dismantling our constitutional rights with abortion bans and laws designed to close clinic doors. SCOTUS is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade this year which could spell the end of abortion access in West Virginia. We need our community to get loud and bold. Make it clear to your legislators that their jobs are on the line and you will not accept one more restriction on abortion."
“Politicians are in a dangerous game of trying to play doctor, and telling people how to manage their reproductive lives and decisions,” said Margaret Chapman-Pomponio, chief executive officer of WV FREE. “They’re trying to divide us and drag us backwards. We can’t let them. WV FREE and our partners are making it easier for West Virginians to make their voices heard and we hope they’ll do it now, through the 2022 election.”
Alisa Clements, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, said: The politicians attempting to ban abortion in this state right now are also expected to pass policies that restrict health care for people who are LGBTQ and attack children who are transgender. Every person should have the right to make decisions that affect our bodies, our lives, and our futures. Each of us deserves the freedom to live in this world as our authentic selves. We cannot accept anything less.
Organizations listed in this media advisory will have representatives available for press interviews at various times on Tuesday, Jan. 18 and Wednesday, Jan. 19. Contact ACLU-WV Communications Director Billy Wolfe at email@example.com to schedule an interview.