Here is the first of three summaries on critical issues and bills passed by the General Assembly, in addition to the transportation tax bill, that Governor Bob McDonnell must act on before tonight's midnight deadline, by when he must either sign, amend or veto them. We have asked Governor McDonnell to protect Virginia taxpayers from having to subsidize abortion in Virginia’s health exchanges.
A few months ago, Virginia had the option of whether to set up its own health insurance exchange in accordance with Obamacare or have the federal government do it for us. The General Assembly opted for the federal government to set up the exchange. But not to be left without a voice in the discussion, it passed legislation (SB921 and HB1900) that allows the State Corporation Commission to have appropriate state oversight of the federally-created Virginia exchange.
While opposed to the concept of Obamacare, the one major aspect The Family Foundation is concerned with is the taxpayer funding of abortion. You may remember a similar discussion in 2011 when the General Assembly adopted an amendment submitted by Governor McDonnell that prohibits subsidizing abortion through exchanges. But today there is some question as to whether that amendment will be enough. Therefore, The Family Foundation and other pro-life organizations are asking Governor McDonnell to continue the intent of his 2011 amendment by further adding pro-life amendments to SB921 and HB1900 to assure that taxpayers will not be asked to fund abortion on demand.
Unfortunately, abortion industry apologists have politicized the issue and are calling the amendment "extreme" and an attack on "women’s health." The truth is that Virginia has the authority to choose to prohibit insurance plans that cover abortion from participating in the exchange and, as already mentioned, the policy already exists and has for two years. However, we need the governor to amend current legislation to ensure that the policy continues.
Governor McDonnell has been a true pro-life ally, signing several pro-life measures and working to ensure that previous health care exchange legislation had pro-life language. It is extremely important that he amend the two bills on his desk now — SB 921 and HB 1900 — with language that protects Virginia taxpayers from being forced to subsidize abortion.
To make your voice heard, even at this late stage, contact Governor McDonnell and tell him you don’t want to be forced to subsidize abortion. Urge him to amend SB 921 and HB 1900 with pro-life language.