2021 Session Starts with Familiar Debate Over Abortion Legislation

Jan 13, 2021

Lawmakers are back in session, and they're debating a familiar topic of disagreement: abortion.

Abortion is not covered by health-insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. Senator Jennifer McClellan is a Democrat from Richmond who says that's an oversight she wants to fix.

"Abortion is the only legal medical procedure that's banned in the health care exchange in Virginia," McClellan says. "And that is solely based on ideological and political beliefs not on the actual procedure itself and so this would make Virginia the first state in the South to remove that ban."

Victoria Cobb at the Family Foundation says taxpayers should not be forced to pay for abortion.

"Virginians have said over and over in polling that they do not support forced funding of abortion by taxpayers," Cobb explains. "The billion-dollar abortion industry continues to demand that Virginians violate their consciences by funding abortion, and taxpayers just shouldn't be asked to subsidize this billion-dollar industry."

Delegate Sally Hudson is a Democrat from Charlottesville who’s introduced a similar version in the House. She says she wants to make sure women who want an abortion but can’t afford it have access to a procedure her bill declares an essential health benefit.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.