The Virginia Senate voted Thursday to 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.
State House Bill 1896 passed 22-17 with all Democrats voting in favor and all Republicans against it, Patch reports. Now, the bill and companion legislation that passed in January are on their way to Gov. Ralph Northam’s desk. The governor, a pro-abortion Democrat, is expected to sign them.
Virginia Society for Human Life said the legislation is the first step to forcing Virginia taxpayers to pay for the killing of unborn babies in abortions.
“Regardless of their view on the legality of abortion, few people support using taxpayer money to pay for them. This is not a pro-life or pro-abortion issue. This is a question of how our taxes may be spent,” said Olivia Gans Turner, president of Virginia Society for Human Life.
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The Virginia Catholic Conference also opposes the legislation. Earlier this year, executive director Jeff Caruso told WFXR News that abortions are not health care because “abortion ends a life instead of healing a life.”
Catholic bishops in the state also have been speaking out against the bill. In a January statement, Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond mourned that their state lawmakers voted to expand abortions after more than 60 million unborn babies already have been killed.
“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 claimed the legislation is necessary because poor women may not be able to afford abortions on their own.
“Repealing the ban is long overdue, and I’m proud that Virginia is leading the charge,” said Del. Sally Hudson, D-Charlottesville, in a statement.
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia rejoiced when the bill passed Thursday, claiming the abortion ban “was the ultimate government overreach.”
Polls consistently show that most Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions. A January poll from Marist found that 58 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to fund abortions.
ACTION ALERT: Contact Gov. Ralph Northam and urge him to veto the bill.