Va. Budget Compromise Excludes Two Antiabortion-Rights Amendments

February 27, 2015 — Virginia General Assembly budget negotiators over the weekend agreed on a compromise plan that does not include two antiabortion-rights amendments from the state House budget proposal, the Washington Post reports (Vozzella, Washington Post, 2/25).

Both chambers of the state Legislature approved the budget on Thursday, sending it to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) (Vozzella, Washington Post, 2/26).

The state House budget proposal had included an amendment (4-5.04 #2h), proposed by state Delegate Steve Landes (R), that would have barred the state's Medicaid program from covering abortions in cases of serious fetal anomalies. The state Medicaid program currently covers abortions in those instances, in addition to cases of rape or incest.

The budget negotiators also agreed not to include an amendment (4-5.04 #6h), proposed by state Del. Robert Marshall (R), that was aimed at preventing McAuliffe from easing certain abortion clinic regulations (Washington Post, 2/25).

The Virginia Board of Health in December voted 13-2 to begin a process to revise several onerous abortion clinic regulations. The process is expected to take up to two years, and the current rules will remain in place in the meantime (Women's Health Policy Report, 12/5/14).