By Jenna Portnoy
Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday vetoed a bill that would have blocked future state funding for Planned Parenthood clinics, an issue that has long divided the Virginia legislature.
McAuliffe (D), a self-professed “brick wall” against limits on abortion, said the bill would have decimated the state’s abortion providers. Republican supporters of the bill said it would have simply forced the state to redirect future dollars to health-care centers that do not provide abortion.
“If we are going to build a new, more vibrant Virginia economy, we need to be opening up doors to quality, affordable health care, not closing them,” the governor said in a statement. “I have promised to stand in the way of any and all attempts to interfere with a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions.”
The bill does not appear to have enough support to survive an override attempt. It passed 64 to 35 in the House and 21 to 19 in the Senate. A two-thirds majority of both chambers is needed to override a governor’s veto.
The bill’s sponsor, Del. Ben L. Cline (R-Rockbridge), filed it after the rollout this past summer of secret video footage of Planned Parenthood officials discussing in graphic detail the process of aborting a fetus to preserve organs for use by medical researchers. (Various investigations turned up no wrongdoing by the group.)
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