The Senate Finance Committee voted down Tuesday a bill that would bar Medicaid funding for poor women seeking abortions for fetuses that could be born with fatal or completely debilitating conditions.
Opponents of Del. Mark Cole's, R-Spotsylvania, anti-abortion measure say it would leave women on the state's Medicaid program without options after learning from their doctors that they are carrying an unviable fetus.
Previously the Senate Education and Health Committee amended the bill to ensure those babies would move to the front of line for receiving one of the commonwealth's limited Medicaid waivers.
Victoria Cobb of the anti-abortion Family Foundation, who was disappointed following Tuesday's hearing, said "these kids sometimes beat the odds," and they should be given that chance.
"To make that presumption in the womb is to prematurely determine that child's fate, and that's not the role of government," Cobb said.
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia applauded the panel's decision to keep the Medicaid funding for a condition that only affected 10 women on the state's low-income health care plan last year.
"Virginia legislators are starting to see the light on women's health issues. We are very pleased that the members of this committee recognized how extreme this legislation is as well as its potential impact on women’s health and the most vulnerable of Virginian families,” said the groups executive director Tarina Keene.