Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed a bill by the Virginia state legislature to cut funding to Planned Parenthood and other health groups that provide abortions in the state. The bill passed earlier in February along party lines.
“Without access to reproductive care and the freedom to exercise choice, women are denied the choice to make deeply personal health decisions,” McAuliffe said, notes WTKR. “It’s time that our General Assembly understands that we have a responsibility to protect the rights and dignity of women.”
"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 governor added in a statement, according to Reuters.
House Bill 2264, which would have cut federal Title X funding to health service providers that offer abortions, was sponsored by Virginia Del. Ben Cline, a Republican. The delegate has proposed similar legislation before, and attempts to override the veto of the previous bill was one vote short of being successful.
Cline said the bill “ensures that hospitals, federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics are funded prior to abortion centers.”
Rules created by former President Barack Obama stated that Title X funding supporting contraception, cervical cancer screenings, female reproductive health and other services be provided to clinics regardless of whether they offer abortions or not, according to The Hill.
"Health care is a reality only if it is accessible and affordable," Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, a Democrat, added, notes the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "Attacks on Planned Parenthood do nothing to advance health care. They take us in the wrong direction."
On Feb. 21, a tweet from McAuliffe's official account said, "'The brick wall just got taller and wider.' Gov vetoes anti-women's health legislation HB 2264."