Home Social Issues General Assembly Votes to Ban Abortion in Health Care Marketplace

General Assembly Votes to Ban Abortion in Health Care Marketplace


From Planned Parenthood of Virginia:

Richmond–Today, the General Assembly voted to approve the Governor’s amendment to ban abortion coverage in the new health care marketplace. The amendment will prohibit women from purchasing comprehensive health insurance which provides a full range of reproductive health care.

“We are extremely disappointed that the majority of the members of the General Assembly put politics above women’s health when they approved the Governor’s amendment,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia.

“Most health plans already include coverage for abortion. A woman should be able to make personal decisions about her health care without the interference of politicians, and her health coverage should enable her to take care of her health and well being,” continued Stewart-Reid.

“Now, the women of the Commonwealth will not have access to the  full range of reproductive health services and the promise of the Affordable Care Act, which included historic health care benefits for women,” Stewart-Reid concluded.

Now, the amended bill will be returned to the Governor for his final approval or veto.

UPDATE: I’m told that Sen. Blevins (R) “was supposed to vote no, but he messed it up by accident. That is why Sen. Wagner walked on the second vote.  It would have been 19-20 and defeated.” Ugh.

  • Leesburg – Senator Mark Herring (Loudoun & Fairfax) released the following statement on the passage of Governor Bob McDonnell’s amendment to prevent women’s health care services from being included as part of any health plan on the state’s newly created health exchange:

    “I am disappointed that once again the Governor and Republicans in the legislature have attacked women’s health care. With this amendment, the Governor will punish women in Virginia for their private medical decisions and block them from choosing their own health insurance policies. This extreme measure robs women of the benefits they are currently able to purchase and possess through their private health care plans, and is nothing more than Republican politicians forcing their way into a woman’s personal health care decision.”

  • Radical, overreaching Republican agenda will deny hundreds of thousands of women access to insurance plans that cover abortion

    RICHMOND, VA – Over the vocal objections of Virginia women, Senate Republicans voted for Governor McDonnell’s proposal to ban nearly all abortion coverage from Virginia’s health insurance exchange, part of the Affordable Care Act.

    The Governor’s amendment to SB 921 places an unprecedented restriction on private transactions, and even bars women from seeking a separate abortion coverage policy.

    Senator Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington) said, “This puts big government in the middle of Virginians personal decisions. I find it very disturbing that one single health benefit is being singled out by the Governor. This demeaning public policy will deny women abortion coverage in the federal health care exchange, and even if you are not receiving any subsidies, you will be unable to purchase abortion coverage through a separate rider.”

    Senator Mark R. Herring (D-Loudoun) said, “I urge the members to reject the Governor’s proposal. The Affordable Care Act is an historic opportunity to expand coverage. The Affordable Care Act should not be used as a vehicle to take away coverage that women currently have. Most women already have health insurance that includes abortion. Women should be able to make their own health care decisions without interference from politicians in the state capitol.”

    Senator Ralph S. Northam (D-Norfolk) said, “The purpose of this amendment is blatantly obvious: it’s meant to decrease women’s access to reproductive health care. There’s no other purpose to it. And if we go down this road, it could take us back to the days before Roe vs. Wade. You can just look at the history books to learn that women were getting abortions; unsafe, back-alley abortions in unsterile environments with unsterile instruments. I strongly encourage everyone to vote ‘no.’ ”

    Senator John S. Edwards (D-Roanoke) said, “The right of contract is a fundamental right of individuals. We have the right to sign whatever contracts we see fit, including health insurance. This amendment would say that an individual cannot enter into a private agreement with a health insurance company to do something that is perfectly legal in this country. This is a political statement. That’s all. If this were a real bill, we would work it over in committee and fix it. But it’s not serious; we know why it’s here, and it should have no place in Virginia.”

  • Richmond, VA – The Virginia State Senate this evening approved 20-19 the Governor’s amendment to HB1900 to prohibit insurers from offering and individuals from demanding health insurance coverage in the health exchange that covers abortion services. ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl released the following statement.

    “This amendment is yet another outrageous interference by right-wing politicians into private medical decisions that should be between a woman, her doctor, and her faith leader. The Governor’s amendment takes away the right of an individual to demand, and an insurance company to provide, a health care plan of their choosing. No woman should be denied the ability to spend her own private dollars on an insurance policy that will cover her in case something goes horribly wrong with a pregnancy.”

  • The Richmonder

    Let’s apply Occam’s razor here; what’s more likely, that Blevins made a mistake or the Conseradems made a deal?  Sounds like scripted theater to me.