Virginia Governor Refuses to Join States Defunding Planned Parenthood
By Dave Ress
Legislation to block Planned Parenthood from receiving any state funding was vetoed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
The measure, introduced by Del. Ben Cline, R-Rockbridge, is similar to that enacted in 11 states after an anti-abortion group released videos it said showed Planned Parenthood employees were trying to sell fetal tissue. Several subsequent investigations found no evidence of such sales.
The bill would have barred the state Department of Health from granting funds to any entity that does abortions that aren't covered by Medicaid. Cline has said the aim was to stop state money going to Planned Parenthood.
A review by the General Assembly's fiscal analysts said the impact of cutting funding would be that 59 cases of sexually transmitted diseases a year would go undiagnosed.
While the measure would also prevent such entities from getting state funds for performing abortions after a rape or act of incest, no entity other than a hospital has ever billed the state for doing so.
The bill would also put clinics such as Planned Parenthood at the bottom of a list for receiving state funds for family planning services, but 99.7 percent of what the state spends for these services go to local health departments.
"This bill, aimed at Planned Parenthood, would harm tens of thousands of Virginians who rely on the health care services and programs provided by Planned Parenthood health centers," McAuliffe said in his veto state.
He said federal rules governing the federal funds Virginia receives to pay for family planning services require states be fair when they determine which providers it pays.
(c)2016 the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)