NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – First the talk, then the tour.

Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA 3rd District) listened to healthcare providers and advocates Friday morning about what’s needed to improve women’s reproductive health at the Southeastern Virginia Health System clinic on Warwick Ave.

The roundtable discussion touched on transportation, child care, mental health support and insurance costs.
Scott wants people to make sure they’ve looked into the details of the Affordable Care Act.

“The sticker price is one thing, but after the Affordable Care Act tax credits come in, a lot of people pay less than $100 (monthly) for comprehensive insurance,” Scott said.

Although this center does not perform abortions, it was a key topic for discussion. The Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision reversed Roe v. Wade and removed a constitutional right to abortion, moving the matter to state lawmakers.

“It does not have an immediate effect on the Third District or anywhere in Virginia, because we don’t have those kinds of restrictions,” Scott said.

But that could change, and a women’s advocate from Planned Parenthood says her clients are already concerned.

“It’s easy when you have something, you kind of put it in the back of your mind, you know it’s there and you have access to it,” said Aman Tune. “And when that is taken away from you, it’s a freak out you have this internal ‘Oh, what do I do?'”

“Thank God here in Virginia they still can get access, and we can still give them information about Planned Parenthood or follow up there,” said Dr. Jacqualynne McFarlane, an OB/GYN with Southeastern. “but there is a huge concern for people that are going to need those services.”

Now that the decision on how and when to restrict abortions is at the state level, stakeholders say they’ll be keeping a close eye on the governor, next year’s term of the general assembly and next year’s statewide elections.