The Virginia Senate passed a pro-abortion bill Friday that would force state taxpayers to subsidize the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
Catholic News Agency reports state Senate Bill 1276 would allow insurance plans on the Virginia Affordable Care Act health exchange to cover abortions without restriction. The vote was 20-17 with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans against.
Currently, plans offered under the taxpayer-funded exchange prohibit coverage for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or risks to the mother’s life.
“The exchange is taxpayer-funded,” Jeff Caruso, director of the Virginia Catholic Conference, told CNA. “Taxes pay for managing the exchange and for subsidizing health plans in many cases” and therefore “would subsidize abortion coverage.”
Catholic bishops in the state have been speaking out against the bill. In a statement after the vote, Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond mourned that their state lawmakers voted to expand abortions, especially after more than 60 million unborn babies already have died.
“Abortion is not health care; it ends lives instead of healing them,” the bishops said. “On this day when we reflect in particular on the more than 60 million unborn lives lost since the Roe v. Wade decision, and on every day, we continue to advocate with relentless determination for health care that affirms every life, born and unborn.”
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The vote occurred on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forces states to legalize abortion on demand. Since 1973, approximately 62,502,904 unborn babies have been killed in “safe, legal” abortions, and countless mothers and fathers, grandparents and siblings, have suffered from physical and psychological consequences.
Polls consistently show that most Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. A 2020 Marist poll found that 60 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions, including 35 percent of Democrats.
A 2016 Harvard/Politico poll also found that a majority of voters oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. Significantly, it also found that voters who make more than $75,000 were more supportive of forcing taxpayers to fund abortions (45 percent in favor), while those who make $25,000 or less were strongly against it (24 percent in favor). In other words, the people most likely to qualify for a Medicaid-covered, taxpayer-funded abortion are the ones most likely to oppose it.
Nationally, Democrat lawmakers are pushing to end the Hyde Amendment, a popular, long-standing measure that prohibits taxpayer-funded abortions in Medicaid and other federal programs.
Research by Charlotte Lozier Institute associate scholar Dr. Michael New estimates the Hyde Amendment has saved about 2.4 million babies from abortions, including about 60,000 annually. Prior to the amendment, in the 1970s, Americans paid for about 300,000 unborn babies’ abortion deaths each year, according to a new report from the Family Research Council.