Despite Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s veto of defunding Planned Parenthood, pro-life Republicans have committed to the cause and tried to override his veto. But Democrats in the Virginia General assembly prevented them from doing so this week.
The Falls Church News Press reports the plan to override Gov. McAuliffe’s veto would have succeeded were it not for Democratic votes to sustain the vetoes.
WTOP reports that State House Majority Leader Kirk Cox said during debate on the floor that he was “disturbed,” and criticized the veto of an effort to defund Planned Parenthood and other government bills. He decried Gov. McAuliffe’s liberal use of his veto powers, of which he used 32 times recently. On Wednesday, state Democrats upheld 24 of those vetoes, including the abortion defunding effort.
McAuliffe said in a statement that the current session “was marked far more by compromise and accomplishment than by partisan conflict, (but) there are some areas on which Republicans in the General Assembly and I disagreed.”
After the veto in March, state Del. Benjamin Cline, R-Amherst, who sponsored the bill, issued this statement: “I am disappointed that Governor McAuliffe chose to veto this important legislation that would redirect taxpayer dollars toward more comprehensive providers of health care services for women. The Governor is clearly listening to his friends in the abortion lobby, rather than ensuring that women have access to quality care.”
Cline’s legislation would have defunded Planned Parenthood and redirected the taxpayer funds to health care groups that provide comprehensive care to families. He previously said the abortion groups addressed in the bill serve a “niche” and that state-controlled money should go to providers offering many of the same services and others with “none of the controversy.”
McAuliffe’s other vetoes included controversial religious freedom measures and bills to loosen gun restrictions.
When Gov. McAuliffe originally vetoed the attempt to defund Planned Parenthood at its Richmond facility in March, he said: “We’re here today to smack down the latest attack on women’s health care rights. I am very proud of my strong record on reproductive rights, and let me tell you this, I am very proud to veto this particular piece of legislation.”
He omitted the role of abortion in the “attack on women’s health care rights.” He and many Democrats avoided the reality again during the veto.