Virginia Defeats Sending $3 Million to Planned Parenthood

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 27, 2012   |   7:07PM   |   Washington, DC

The Virginia state Senate has defeated an attempt by Democrats in the state legislature to funnel millions in taxpayer funds to the Planned Parenthood abortion business for a routine portion of its abortion process.

Victoria Cobb, the president of the Family Foundation, was worried that, on the heels of Gov. Bob McDonnell signing a bill pro-life groups pressed for that allows women considering an abortion the chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child, abortion backers in the legislature would send Planned Parenthood money to pay for the ultrasounds. While studies show abortion facilities routinely perform ultrasounds prior to the abortion, they do not always allow women a chance to see the results.

The Senate Democratic Caucus sent a letter to the Governor demanding that Planned Parenthood funding be included in the state budget.

But yesterday, the state Senate defeated an amendment to the state budget that would have forced taxpayers in Virginia to pay for what is already a routine and regularly practiced test, an ultrasound prior to an abortion.  Yesterday’s amendment would have allowed some of the proposed $3 million in taxpayer money to go to Planned Parenthood and other entities in the abortion industry.

As Cobb explained in an email today that LifeNews received, “Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment argued against the amendment, pointing to several places in the Code that require medical treatment that are not paid for by Virginia taxpayers.  Reading from the Code, Senator Norment effectively undermined the primary argument of abortion defenders that “this is the only place in the law where we require a medical procedure.”  Moreover, this test is only done when someone considers elective abortion.”

State Senator Jeff McWaters also argued against the amendment, saying, “This is not just a simple matter of an inexpensive test.  This is a matter for many of human life, of the sanctity of human life and not about a small, few-million-dollar expenditure for tests that are being discussed on this floor.”

Previously, Cobb talked about her group’s concerns about sending taxpayer funding to the abortion industry.

As Cobb explained, “Continuing to blow the ultrasound debate out of proportion, Senate Democrats have asked Governor McDonnell to pledge his support to “mandating insurance coverage of the ultrasounds and/or having the Commonwealth pay for the ultrasounds” through the state budget.  Since Planned Parenthood is the largest provider of abortions in Virginia and many women will get their ultrasound there, some of this funding would go into the coffers of Planned Parenthood.”

“State Senate Democrats don’t care about the budget,” Cobb said. “They don’t care that without a budget, police officers and teachers won’t get paid.  They don’t care that their refusal to vote for a budget leaves the Commonwealth in financial crisis.  What state Senate Democrats care about is their progressive social agenda.”

Since ultrasounds are essentially required before most abortions and considered a standard of medical care, Cobb says the funding request is ironic.

“The irony of all this is that Planned Parenthood already requires that at least one ultrasound be performed prior to an abortion; therefore, it seems that this proposed state funding would doubly fund what is already being done,” she said.

Cobb also points out that the Virginian-Pilot reported, “an official with the Virginia Association of Health Plans has noted that ultrasounds are typically processed as a covered service if a physician orders the procedure.”

She concludes:  “And as if that’s not enough, the ultrasound legislation also provides women considering abortion a statewide list of ultrasound providers and notates which providers offer the service for free.  A woman does not have to go to an abortion provider to get her ultrasound. The Senate Democratic Caucus’ budget demands are simply a ruse to attack Pregnancy Resource Centers who provide this service free of charge and to give taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood.”

After the Virginia state Senate approved the bill, the House voted 61-35 for final approval of HB 462 and it move to McDonnell’s desk.

Abortion advocates in Virginia have come under heavy criticism for equating the ultrasound legislation there would allow women to see before an abortion to rape.  Yet, while abortion backers say having an ultrasound is like getting raped, a 2003 study shows 99% of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities do them beforehand.

Leading pro-life organizations supported the measure.

“This is very good news for all Virginians, in particular mothers and their unborn children. The signing of this bill today shows that the Governor understands the need to support human life and to provide greater protection to the women by obtaining relevant and critical information before making the irreversible decision to abort their unborn child,” said Olivia L. Gans, President of Virginia Society for Human Life. “In spite of an aggressive and deliberately deceitful public campaign waged by pro-abortion forces against passage of this bill, the members of the Virginia General Assembly did the right thing by passing this reasonable bill. The amendments added by Gov. McDonnell maintain the requirement for abortionists to perform an ultrasound before an abortion. The bill also gives women seeking an abortion the opportunity to view that ultrasound if they so wish.”

Ultrasounds are routinely done before an abortion, according to a study of Planned Parenthood abortion centers and independent abortion clinics.