Genetic counselors in Virginia who object to abortion may now prevent women from learning the results of their genetic tests before their pregnancies progress to a point when legal abortion is impossible to obtain—and the practice could become legal in other states as well.
A recently signed law to license genetic counselors in Virginia includes a sweeping “conscience” provision that is the direct result of a partnership between an anti-choice group and a prominent Democrat who just two years ago was held up nationally as a hero and champion for reproductive rights.
Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has called legislators back for a special session that will begin March 24. If a budget is not adopted by July 1, the state government will shut down.
In a move that has left some marriage equality advocates expressing dismay, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is reported to be considering appointing Mayor Dwight Jones, who has stated his opposition to marriage equality, to lead the Democratic Party of Virginia.
By March 8, we should know the outcome of the budget reconciliation process between Virginia’s Democrat-controlled senate and Republican-controlled house, which will determine whether access to health-care coverage will be expanded for 400,000 uninsured, lower-income Virginians.
Virginia legislators vote Tuesday on whether to repeal the harmful, medically unnecessary law that requires women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion and a mean-spirited ban that outlaws abortion coverage in plans sold in the federally facilitated marketplace.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has made it a top priority to remove the commonwealth from the list of 25 states that have declined to expand the number of individuals eligible for Medicaid under Obamacare. On Monday, House Speaker William Howell (R-Stafford) said his majority caucus is not going to play along.
For one thing, health care doesn’t live up to its own name if it segregates and excludes the medical needs—including abortion, contraception, and family planning—of some because of the discriminatory belief systems of others.
Republicans in Virginia want to create “legislative standing” to let lawmakers defend anti-abortion restrictions in case Democrats won’t.
Virginia Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe has announced his selection of Dr. Bill Hazel as secretary of health and human resources, calling him an “invaluable asset.” Hazel was selected for that cabinet post in 2010 by Gov. Bob McDonnell, and has supported the outgoing governor in the implementation of several anti-choice policies.