VA Governor Amends Insurance Exchange Bill to Ban Abortion Coverage

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) added an amendment to a bill passed by the state’s general assembly that would prohibit private health insurance companies that participate in the state health exchange from covering abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest, and when the woman’s life is endangered. The amendment would also ban women from using their own money to buy separate policy riders for abortion services.

Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, stated, “Banning abortion coverage will only result in dangerous outcomes for Virginia women in need of serious medical care resulting from complex and sometimes life-threatening pregnancies. Such a devastating ban goes against the very purpose of insurance…when unforeseen and dangerous circumstances arise, every woman deserves to have all options available to them when making these difficult and life-saving decision.”

The Virginia General Assembly will consider McDonnell’s amendments on Wednesday of next week. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “87% of typical employer-based insurance policies in 2002 covered medically necessary or appropriate abortions.”


Richmond Times Dispatch 4/1/11; Statement of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia 3/31/11; Washington Post 3/31/11; Guttmacher Fact Sheet 7/22/09

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