A new measure approved by the Virginia General Assembly will bar abortion coverage from insurance plans sold through a federal health insurance exchange.
The amendment, proposed by Governor Bob McDonnell last week, narrowly passed the state Senate Wednesday with a 20-19 vote. The measure was the focus of a contentious debate on the Senate floor Wednesday evening.
"Frankly, you're putting big government in the middle of business decisions now. This is bad public policy, it is a bad precedent," said Sen. Barbara Favola (D) 31st District.
"This bill in no way, shape or form eliminates anyone's ability to abort their child. It does, however, address how - rightfully - taxpayer dollars will be used," said Sen. Thomas Garrett (R) 22nd District.
The measure now returns to McDonnell's desk for final approval.
Virginia will institute a federal healthcare exchange starting next January.