A Virginia bill on its way to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk would repeal a ban on elective abortion coverage in the state Affordable Care Act health exchange and force state taxpayers to subsidize the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
The Virginia House of Delegates voted 55-45 in favor of state Senate Bill 1276 on Tuesday, WFXR News reports. It passed the state Senate last week, and now goes to Northam, a pro-abortion Democrat, for final approval.
“The removal of the prohibition means that, if this becomes law, Virginia taxpayers will soon be paying for plans that cover elective abortions and may not be able to find a plan that doesn’t,” Virginia Society for Human Life said in a statement. “It is the first step to forcing Virginians to pay for all abortions.”
The Virginia Catholic Conference also opposed the bill. Executive director Jeff Caruso told the local news that abortions are not health care because “abortion ends a life instead of healing a life.”
The legislation largely passed along party lines. State Sen. Joe Morrissey, D-Richmond, was the only Democrat who voted against the bill, according to the local news.
“If taxpayer dollars are used to fund any portion of an exchange that allows for a policy that will pay for an abortion then you come to the undeniable conclusion that taxpayer dollars are supporting the public allowance of abortion,” Morrissey said. “That’s why I, in good faith, could not support that bill.”
Catholic bishops in the state also have been speaking out against the bill. In a statement last week, Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond mourned that lawmakers voted to expand abortions after more than 60 million unborn babies already have been killed.
REACH PRO-LIFE PEOPLE WORLDWIDE! Advertise with LifeNews to reach hundreds of thousands of pro-life readers every week. Contact us today.
“Abortion is not health care; it ends lives instead of healing them,” the bishops said. “… 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.”
Abortion activists said the bill is necessary because poor women may not be able to afford abortions on their own.
“It has made access to care unaffordable and out of reach for many women, particularly low-income women, women in rural communities and black and brown women,” said state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, D-Richmond, who sponsored the bill.
She said abortions can cost as much as $1,000 out of pocket.
Polls consistently show that most Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions.
ACTION ALERT: Contact Gov. Ralph Northam and urge him to veto the bill.