Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe vetoed a measure today that would have defunded Planned Parenthood in the state.
House Bill (H.B.) 1090, which passed earlier this month, would have prohibited the Virginia Department of Health from funding health clinics that also provide abortions. As a result, the bill threatened to eliminate funding for sex education, STI testing, and family planning.
The Feminist Majority Foundation joined with reproductive rights groups across Virginia to call on Governor McAuliffe to veto H.B. 1090. Since the law’s passage, allied organizations delivered nearly 5,000 petition signatures to the Governor before his veto.
In his veto message, Governor McAuliffe said, “If we are going to build a new, more vibrant Virginia economy, we need to be opening up doors to quality, affordable health care, not closing them. I have promised to stand in the way of any and all attempts to interfere with a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”
“In a time when our neighboring states are rolling back the clock on civil rights and reproductive freedom, we are fortunate to have a Governor that is willing to stand firm in support of Virginia’s women and families,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Unfortunately, Governor McAuliffe is the only person right now standing between Virginia women and ever-increasing attacks on our rights, health, and dignity.” She continued, “Make no mistake: this bill is not an outlier. Instead, it is part of a well-documented pattern of anti-abortion legislators chipping away at Virginia women’s constitutional rights and access to health care.”
During the 2016 legislative session in Virginia, anti-abortion politicians proposed a slew of bills to limit abortion rights and compromise women’s health care. In addition to H.B. 1090, these politicians proposed a 20-week ban, a bill to create fetal rights, a measure to criminalize fetal tissue donation, and a bill that would require a person who obtains an abortion or suffers a miscarriage to arrange to bury or cremate the remains. All of these proposals were ultimately defeated.