Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell introduced a bill last week that would prevent insurance plans in the new federal health exchange from covering abortions. The proposed amendment would also ban policy riders for abortion coverage.
“No qualified health insurance plan that is sold or offered for sale through an exchange established or operating in the Commonwealth shall provide coverage for abortions, regardless of whether such coverage is provided through the plan or is offered as a separate optional rider thereto,” the amendment reads. It adds that women who have become pregnant by rape or incest or whose lives are in danger would be exempt from the ban.
On Wednesday the national pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) praised McDonnell and the Virginia state legislature for passing the amendment, and also demanded that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe share with the public his position on taxpayer-funded abortion in the Commonwealth.
“Today is a victory for the majority of Virginia taxpayers who do not want their tax dollars paying for abortions,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser on Wednesday. “The SBA List is grateful for the leadership of Governor McDonnell in ensuring Virginia taxpayers are not forced to pay for abortions in the state’s health care exchange.
“Virginia voters deserve to know where Terry McAuliffe stands on taxpayer funding of abortion. This commonsense amendment was opposed by his top political allies, Planned Parenthood and NARAL. The voters deserve to know if he stands with them, or with the big abortion lobby.”
Previously the SBA List called on McAuliffe to state his position on the amendment. Last month, McAuliffe’s campaign was asked by The Washington Post to confirm or deny his stance on abortion as being one of supporting “a platform of abortion on-demand at any time, for any reason, paid for by Virginia taxpayers,” including “sex-selective abortion, late-term abortion, partial-birth abortion, and abortions on teenage girls without parental consent—all paid for by Virginia tax payers.” McAuliffe spokesman Josh Schwerin declined to comment to the Post.
According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, at least 20 states have prohibited abortion coverage in plans offered through their state or federal exchanges. The SBA List mobilized thousands of Virginia women and men this week in support of the amendment.