RICHMOND, Va. -- Calling it a bill designed to take money away from Planed Parenthood, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed House Bill 2264.
The bill, passed by the Virginia General Assembly, would have stopped the Department of Health from spending money on abortions not qualified for matching Medicaid funds and from giving money to places to perform those abortions.
"This bill, aimed at Planned Parenthood, would harm tens of thousands of Virginians who rely on the health care services and programs provided by Planned Parenthood health centers, by denying them access to affordable care. Virginians, and particularly low-income Virginians, need more access to health care, not less," the governor said while he vetoed the bill. "Attempts to restrict women’s access to health care will impede the goal of making Virginia the best place to live, work, and run a business."
The Family Foundation, which protested the veto, called the governor's move an attempt to have taxpayers fund abortions and questioned his claim that the bill would put Virginia woman at risk.
"The argument that women will not have access to needed care as a result of the bill vetoed by the Governor is patently false," Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb said. "There are dozens of qualified health centers in the most rural parts of Virginia, in underserved communities, far away from the nearest Planned Parenthood abortion center. Virginia’s taxpayers are better served when their money is given to truly compassionate, comprehensive health centers like this legislation required. Unfortunately, once again, Governor McAuliffe put abortion ideology ahead of the well-being of women."
Anna Scholl, Executive Director of Progress Virginia, applauded the veto.
"Defunding Planned Parenthood is a blatant attempt to deny women access to the full range of reproductive health care services, and Virginia women won’t stand for it," Scholl said. "Politicians in Richmond don’t get to decide where women get their health care and what kind of services they receive, and we’re glad that Governor McAuliffe agrees."