Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D) has signed a controversial bill ending a ban on abortion coverage for insurance plans offered through the state's health benefits exchange.
This measure means that by law, Virginia taxpayers will be funding abortions, Catholic News Agency reports.
"Governor Northam has crossed yet another tragic threshold by inserting abortion without limits into Virginia's health benefits exchange," said Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond.
"We decry the enactment of this deplorable policy, which is built on the destructive lie that abortion is healthcare," the bishops added. "We are saddened when we contemplate the increased number of unborn lives likely to be lost as a result."
Virginia's insurance plans established under the Affordable Care Act did not include abortion coverage unless the pregnancy resulted from rape, incest, or if the life of the mother was at risk due to health complications.
But as of July 1, Virginia health insurance plans will cover abortions under any circumstances.
Some pro-life advocates rebuked Northam for signing the legislation into law.
Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life said some Virginians may be in favor of legal abortion, but there is "a great deal of opposition to taxpayer funding of elective abortions."
And March for Life tweeted that the new bill is essentially condoning "abortion without limits."
VA Gov. Ralph Northam signs massive pro-abortion bill into law, inserting abortion without limits into Virginia's health coverage and forcing pro-life taxpayers to fund it. https://t.co/rBaDWaOTJC
— March for Life (@March_for_Life) March 15, 2021
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