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Va. Bill Would Remove Abortion Funding for Women With Severely Deformed Fetuses

The commonwealth currently pays for a tiny number of abortions for women who carry "totally incapacitated" fetus. A Republican proposal would end that funding.

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The Hyde Amendment was first enacted by Congress in 1976. President Barack Obama agreed in 2010 to extend the principles of the Hyde Amendment to the Affordable Care Act.

The lack of coverage for fetal abnormality abortions in federal law makes Virginia’s provision even more important, McClellan said.

“If you have private health insurance and you make that decision [to have an abortion], that’s one thing,” she said. “If you’re on Medicaid or you’re a low-income person, you’re on your own.”

McClellan said she would fight efforts of anti-abortion lobbyists and legislators to portray fetal abnormality abortions as issues of lifestyle convenience.

“Oftentimes [abortions] are the tragic end to a very much wanted pregnancy,” McClellan said. “Yet the legislators on the other side want to put them all into the same black and white box and legislate to the stereotype.”

Sen. Garrett, through his legislative aide, declined multiple requests to be interviewed for this story. The Family Foundation, Virginia’s leading anti-abortion lobbying group, also did not respond to interview requests.



Reilly Moore reports on Virginia politics and government for The American Independent and is based in Richmond.

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