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Virginia Politics
Posted at 02:56 PM ET, 02/02/2012

House votes to ban subsidies for poor women who abort fetuses with birth defects

The House of Delegates tentatively passed a bill Thursday that would ban state subsidies for poor women to abort fetuses with serious birth defects.

The state spent about $2,800 on 10 abortions in 2010. The year before, it spent about $15,000 for 23 abortions.

“I am sad to see today that we have no compassion for the poor,’’ Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) told her colleagues during debate on the House floor.

Del. Mark Cole (R-Spotsylvania), who introduced the proposal, said the bill merely conforms Virginia law to the federal code. He said taxpayers who believe abortion is wrong should not have to pay for them.

“These are real people who are trying to do the right thing,’’ Del. Vivian Watts (D-Fairfax) said.

A final vote will be taken Friday.

Republicans, in control of both chambers for only the second time since the Civil War, are looking to pass a slew of bills in the 60-day session that take on abortion.

The Virginia Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, the first of several legislative measures this year that are expected to dramatically alter abortion law in the state.

They include requiring that insurers that cover abortions also offer policies that do not and giving rights to a fertilized egg at the moment of conception.

A Senate committee killed a bill Thursday to ban most abortions after the fetus reaches 20 weeks after a woman testified she terminated her pregnancy after medical problems.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) failed on a vote of 7 to 7. One senator did not vote.

By  |  02:56 PM ET, 02/02/2012

 
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