Women's Reproductive Health Caucus Opposes House Amendments on Abortion
Richmond, VA- In a 9:30 press conference today, the Women’s Reproductive Health Caucus outlined the latest issues regarding women’s health in both Senate and House legislation. The Caucus stated strong opposition to the House budget amendments which are before the House Health and Human Resources Subcommittee this afternoon. The amendments prohibit public funding for abortions in cases of totally incapacitating fetal abnormalities for Medicaid patients.
Senator Barbara Favola:“These budget amendments stand between a physician and a low-income patient, removing another layer of health care from those already at risk. Every woman, regardless of her station in life, should be given the dignity to make the best decision for her circumstances. I strongly urge my House colleagues to reject these amendments.”
Most pro-choice bills were killed either on Thursday or Friday of last week: including bills rolling back TRAP legislation, defining birth control as separate from abortions, and repealing the ban on insurance coverage for abortion in the state health care exchange. Delegate Watts gave an impassioned speech for her bill defining birth control as separate from abortion, legislation that she has offered for the past thirteen years. While the bill was killed on Friday, Del. Watts noted that some lawmakers finally understand how crucial the bill is.
Senator Donald McEachin spoke to the importance of his bill SB 769, repealing the insurance coverage ban for abortion in the state health care exchange: “This is big government at its worst. Government should not make these decisions. These are private businesses working with their clients, there shouldn’t be government interference.”
Delegate Kaye Kory was unable to attend the conference but expressed her support in a statement: “We must continue to be vigilant in protecting a woman’s right to privacy, a woman’s right to control her body, and a woman’s right to access health care. These issues are important to Virginia’s women and families, and these issues are important to Virginia’s prosperity.”
The Women's Reproductive Health Caucus meets every Wednesday at 8 a.m. in Senate Conference Room 3 East, General Assembly Building. Caucus members include lawmakers from both the House and Senate, as well as relevant stakeholders: Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, Progress VA, JCDC, The ACLU of Virginia, and the League of Women Voters of Virginia.