Va. House sidesteps bills aimed at dropping contraception coverage

February 4, 2013

RICHMOND — The Virginia House of Delegates chose to sidestep legislation that would have dropped the requirement for health care insurers in the state to provide contraception coverage.

A trio of bills filed by Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) have awaited action in the Commerce and Labor Committee and would need a floor vote before Tuesday to survive the legislative session. On Monday, Marshall asked for the bills to be discharged from the committee, but was voted down.

House Republican leaders signaled at the start of the session that they were not eager to embrace potentially controversial social issues as part of their agenda this year. Marshall, a staunch anti-abortion advocate, sponsored bills declaring life as beginning at conception and requiring women to get ultrasounds before having an abortion.

Such legislation last year grabbed headlines for the state and Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) and drew accusations that the state’s Republican Party was hostile to women’s issues.

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