This week, we have seen just how far Go
vernor McDonnell is willing to go on his single-minded, ideological mission to further erode women’s access to necessary health care.
The governor quietly signed a bill into law requiring new, unwarranted regulations on abortion providers into law this past weekend with no notice or media attention. So now, the “emergency regulatory” process begins—a process which severely curtails public comment. But, the governor was not quite finished with his attempt to undercut women’s health.
At the very last minute possible, the governor recommended an amendment to another bill that has nothing to do with abortion. HB 2434 simply established the state’s health benefits exchange as a result of federal health care reform. McDonnell seizedthe opportunity to further his crusade against women’s health and safety.
Governor McDonnell’s amendment bans abortion coverage for all women participating in the new health care insurance exchange. This is dangerous for women. No woman ever plans on having an abortion. But, pregnancy can be extremely precarious and women need the assurance of health coverage especially in those tragic situations. A woman should have the option whether to include abortion coverage in her health plan without government interference.
Furthermore, the amendment prohibits women from using their own private dollars to purchase abortion coverage. It also prohibits private insurance companies from offering coverage! This flies in the face of the governor’s own conservative principles—free markets, limited government and individual rights and liberty. Not to mention, privacy!
We saw just what can happen with a mixed-choice Senate with the recent tie vote on new abortion regulations (broken by anti-choice Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling). We have to tell our senators NOW to vote against the Governor’s amendment on HB 2434 and protect women’s ability to choose what their health insurance covers!
Let’s be clear, the governor and his allies are pursuing a political agenda that will severely limit access to vital reproductive health care for women of the Commonwealth.
We cannot allow this to happen!
The House and Senate will vote on this amendment next Wednesday. Please help by contacting your senator today and ask them to reject the Governor’s amendment to HB 2434 and protect women’s health and safety!