Virginia Republicans may have managed to pass a controversial and intrusive ultrasound bill, but they failed to pass another mean-spirited abortion measure targeting the state’s poor women.
If it passed HB 62 would have removed funding for abortion for low-income women in cases where a physician has diagnosed that a woman’s fetus will be born with a severe fetal anomaly. It’s a significant victory in a battle that has been marked with one horrible bill after another.
Pro choice advocates celebrated the hard-fought victory. Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL, Pro-Choice Virginia gave the following statement:
“Virginia legislators are starting to see the light on women’s health issues. We are very pleased that the members of this committee recognized how extreme this legislation is as well as its potential impact on women’s health and the most vulnerable of Virginian families.”
“This bill proposed to rip the last safety net out from under women who are already marginalized and suffering a devastating loss. It is cruel and insidious to deny funding for families during these tragic circumstances simply because the depend on the state for their healthcare. No woman plans on having an abortion, but when tragedy strikes, she should not be further traumatized simply due to her financial circumstances,” said Keene.
“This bill was yet another extreme overreach by anti-choice legislators – and yet another bill that has been defeated because of the intense national attention paid to Virginia over the last few weeks. We applaud the senators who recognized the impact this bill would have on poor women and families.”
For now poor women in Virginia were spared the expense and stigma of being forced to carry to term a doomed pregnancy. But if we know anything about the anti-choice movement it’s that we can expect to see this bill again.
Photo from pedrosimoes7 via flickr.