VA Senate passes bill to defund Planned Parenthood, McAuliffe vows to veto

Updated: Feb. 14, 2017 at 5:31 PM EST
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Senate has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, a week after the bill passed through the House of Delegates. The bill will now go to Governor Terry McAuliffe, who says he will veto it.

The vote on HB 2264 came along party lines, 20-19. The bill, should it become law, would take federal money away from any clinic, like Planned Parenthood, that doesn't qualify for matching Medicaid funding. However, this bill has already been shot down by McAuliffe before.

"Again and again, legislators have ignored the very real concerns of their constituents, shut down testimony, and voted against the best interests of Virginia women," said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. "It's reassuring to know Governor McAuliffe will again stand as a brick wall and veto this bill, but it's disappointing to see the General Assembly play this political game with women's health and lives year after year."

Victoria Cobb, President of the Family Foundation of Virginia, argues that constituents do want the bill to pass.

"A Mason-Dixon poll conducted last month found that 54 percent of Virginians support redirecting taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood to community health clinics that offer real, comprehensive health care for women," said Cobb. "Planned Parenthood doesn't do a host of health care services that women need and it simply cannot be trusted to be funded by taxpayers."

Should the bill be vetoed by McAuliffe, it would go back to the General Assembly and would likely not have the necessary two-thirds majority in both houses to override his veto.

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