National Partnership for Women & Families

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Va. Senate passes bill to defund Planned Parenthood; gov. pledges to veto

The Virginia Senate on Monday voted to approve a bill (HB 1090) that would defund Planned Parenthood clinics and other reproductive health facilities in the state, the Augusta Free Press reports.

The measure has already passed the state House and now heads to Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) (Augusta Free Press, 3/7).

McAuliffe on Monday said he would veto any legislation that aims to defund Planned Parenthood. According to the AP/Sacramento Bee, conservative state lawmakers likely do not have enough votes to override a veto.

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Planned Parenthood supporters called the measure a political attack against the right to abortion care (AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/7).

State Sen. Barbara Favola (D), who opposed the measure, said, "This bill puts ideology first and women second." She noted that the bill could "reduce access to cancer screenings, [sexually transmitted infection] testing, and other vital services. Women rely on those services, and it would be a travesty to take them away."

Separately, state Sen. Mamie Locke (D) said women in the state "do not want or need this bill that targets Planned Parenthood," adding, "Once and for all, Republicans need to stop putting partisan goals ahead of women's health."

State Sen. Donald McEachin (D), who also opposed the measure, said, "This bill risks endangering women's health." He added, "It will reduce access to family planning services ... [and] also makes it more difficult for women to access regular preventive health care and important cancer screenings" (Augusta Free Press, 3/7).