Virginia Governor Wants Abortion De-Funded in Obamacare Exchange

State   |   Dave Andrusko   |   Mar 28, 2013   |   10:10AM   |   Richmond, VA

Sometimes you have to give the devil his (or her) due. A story in the Washington Post, written by Laura Vozzella, accurately describes what Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is proposing vis a vis abortion coverage under the federal insurance exchanges established as part of ObamaCare.

In Virginia the governor proposes amendments to legislation which the legislature accepts or rejects when it reconvenes (in this case April 3). McDonnell offered identical amendments to two bills which, if accepted, would mean that health care plans offered through the federal insurance exchanges could not cover abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is at risk.

As Vozzella notes, this does not represent a change in state policy. In 2011 the state General Assembly voted to prohibit abortion coverage in any insurance policies sold under any state-based insurance exchange set up under ObamaCare (the “Affordable Care Act”).

At the time it was assumed Virginia would operate its own state exchange  if  ObamaCare withstood a Supreme Court challenge, which it  did. At least for now, however, Virginia has opted to operate under a federal exchange.

McDonnell’s proposed amendment reads as follows:

“No qualified health insurance plan that is sold or offered for sale through an exchange established or operating in the Commonwealth shall provide coverage for abortions, regardless of whether such coverage is provided through the plan or is offered as a separate optional rider thereto …”

“Governor McDonnell has always maintained a pro-life stance,” said Jeff Caldwell, a spokesman for McDonnell. “These amendments continue a policy established by the General Assembly in 2011 when it passed initial legislation to govern the possibility of a state-run health exchange. While Virginia has now notified the federal government that it will participate in a federal exchange, the policy toward restricting federal funding from paying for abortions as part of this exchange has not changed.”



Virginia Society for Human Life (VSHL) was also encouraged by the governor’s actions.

“VSHL is pleased that Gov. McDonnell is proposing these amendments, which reflect what the majority of Virginians and Americans think is correct regarding abortion funding,” said VSHL President Olivia Gans Turner. Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. He writes NRL News Today — an online column on pro-life issues.