In a strong show of support for Planned Parenthood, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) went to the abortion business’s facility in Richmond itself to veto legislation that would ban the state from providing Medicaid funds to any organizations that provide abortions.
“It’s no secret that this bill is aimed at destroying Planned Parenthood,” said McAuliffe, who continued that such a law would make Virginia appear unwelcome to new businesses, reports The Virginian-Pilot: “We will not tolerate socially divisive issues that put walls up.”
The Virginia state House and Senate approved the measure along party lines. The bill would have barred the Virginia health department from “spending any funds on an abortion that is not qualified for matching funds under the Medicaid program or providing any grants or other funds” to non-hospital abortion clinics. In addition, the legislation would have prioritized the list of health facilities with which the state contracts or provides grants for family planning services. Taxpayer funds that had gone to Planned Parenthood would have been redirected to other women’s health facilities that provide more comprehensive services, but not abortions.
“They are out of touch with women, with health care providers and with Virginia families,” McAuliffe criticized Republican state lawmakers.
“We’re here today to smack down the latest attack on women’s health care rights,” McAuliffe said. “I am very proud of my strong record on reproductive rights, and let me tell you this, I am very proud to veto this particular piece of legislation.”
McAuliffe had promised to veto the legislation weeks ago, claiming he would serve as a “brick wall” against any effort to limit abortion rights.
As reported by the Virginia Bureau of Watchdog.org, Planned Parenthood contributed more than $1.7 million to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign in 2013. Abortion industry lobbying organization NARAL donated $56,000 to his campaign as well.
“We now know how much money it costs to purchase a veto from Terry McAuliffe – right around $2 million in campaign contributions,” Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation of Virginia, said.
“I am disappointed that Governor McAuliffe chose to veto this important legislation that would redirect taxpayer dollars toward more comprehensive providers of health care services for women,” said Virginia Delegate Ben Cline (R), author of the legislation. “The Governor is clearly listening to his friends in the abortion lobby, rather than ensuring that women have access to quality care.”
A jubilant Planned Parenthood, however, gave McAuliffe thank-you notes from abortion supporters.
“We are here today because we have a governor who has promised to be a brick wall to protect women’s access to health care,” said Paulette McElwain, president and CEO of the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood.