House subcommittee votes to remove abortion funding for low-income women

A House Health, Welfare and Institutions subcommittee voted on Thursday in favor of House Bill 62, which repeals current Virginia law providing state funding for an abortion to low-income women when a doctor believes and certifies that the fetus would be born with a gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency.

“Today’s vote is both shameful and callous,” said Katherine Greenier, Director of the Patricia M. Arnold Women’s Rights Project at the ACLU of Virginia. “HB 62 denies low-income women access to safe care for no other reason than their poverty. No woman plans to have an abortion, but if she needs one, every woman deserves the opportunity to make the best decision for her circumstances. Women and their families should have access to safe and affordable health services, especially in a medical crisis.”

Pro-choice advocates and medical professional groups, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics, provided testimony opposing HB 62.

Despite expert medical testimony opposing the bill, subcommittee members voted 4-1 in favor of it, siding with anti-choice advocates who were unable to provide any scientific data to support their arguments that there are sometimes “false positives” in the diagnosis of fetal anomalies. Del. Algie Howell (D-Norfolk) was the lone dissenting vote.

The availability of funding for abortions for low-income women when there are fetal anomalies has been part of the Virginia code for decades. In the past fiscal year, only 23 women received state Medicaid funds to terminate their pregnancies based on a fetal anomaly diagnosis at a cost of less than $15,000 to the Commonwealth.

HB 62 was introduced by Del. Mark Cole and will be heard next by the full House Health, Welfare and Institutions Committee.

“The ACLU of Virginia and its allies in the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition urge legislators to put medical expertise above politics and oppose HB 62,” added Greenier.

augusta free press
augusta free press news

UVA Basketball Fans!

uva basketball team of destiny
Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, by Jerry Ratcliffe and Chris Graham, is available for $25. The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe, and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018 through to the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.

Dick Vitale on Team of Destiny: “This is a hoops story you will LOVE! Jerry and Chris capture the sensational and dramatic championship journey by Tony Bennett and his tenacious Cavalier team. UVA was Awesome Baby and so is this book!”

Ralph Sampson on Team of Destiny: “Jerry and Chris have lived and seen it all, even before my time. I highly recommend this book to every basketball fan across the globe. This story translates to all who know defeat and how to overcome it!”

Buy here.

AFP Business

As professional consultants, Augusta Free Press LLC provides clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia and beyond with marketing and PR solutions including website design, SEO, TV/radio, video work, branding and logos, social media and overall marketing campaign design and implementation. Augusta Free Press LLC was founded in 2002.

Web Design

Augusta Free Press has designed more than 800 websites for clients in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. We take care of all facets of web design – visual design, layout design, content development and SEO. Short on staff? We’ll work with you to update your AFP-designed website in a timely manner or train your staff to make changes.

Marketing/Social Media Management

Augusta Free Press manages advertising campaigns for small- and medium-sized businesses across Virginia. You don’t need to hire a full-time marketing coordinator. Bring the experience of the Augusta Free Press team to work for you – for a fraction of the cost.

Graphic Design

Augusta Free Press will help you take your vision to the next level. From branding and logos to print materials, our team will work with you to develop products to showcase your business. From brochures and rack cards to full-color magazines or print/digital ads, we’ve got you covered.

Event Planning/Fundraising

Augusta Free Press will help you plan the best event for your organization. From an open house or anniversary to a 5K or Pay Per View, we can handle it all. Looking for training for your sales staff? We can help energize your employees or board. Need ideas to raise more money? Let us help you plan a successful event. Want to hold a news conference or need help with a press release? We can do that too.

Click here for more.