Virginia’s Democratic governor Ralph Northam has signed legislation allowing elective-abortion coverage to be included in insurance plans on the state health-care exchanges. Because health-care options on the state exchange often receive subsidies, this policy means that taxpayers will effectively be forced to fund elective abortions.
Prior to this revision, Virginia law allowed health-care plans on the state exchange to cover abortion only in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk.
In response to the news that Northam had signed the bill, Virginia’s two Catholic bishops condemned the new policy, calling it “tragic.”
“We decry the enactment of this deplorable policy, which is built on the destructive lie that abortion is healthcare,” they said in a statement. The bishops also lamented that, because individuals often receive public subsidies to enroll in health-care plans on the exchange, “taxpayers will be forced to fund plans that cover abortion on demand.”
The move to allow elective abortion in Virginia’s state-exchange plans is part of a larger pattern of Democrats pushing for subsidized abortion, arguing that a failure to fund abortion through Medicaid and other health-care plans is discriminatory to low-income women. In the recent stimulus bill that Congress passed, Democrats refused to add the typical Hyde-amendment language that prevents federal funding from directly underwriting elective abortion.
Though Joe Biden attempted to present himself as a moderate candidate while running for president, and though he has long called himself “personally pro-life,” he has embraced taxpayer-funded abortion to fit in with the rest of his party. Biden supported the Hyde amendment during his several decades in politics, but reversed that position in 2019 while campaigning for the Democratic nomination.