In Virginia Budget, Senate Rejects Funding For Mandated Ultrasounds Before Abortions

The Virginia Senate passed an amended version of a two-year, $85 billion budget plan Monday on a 35-4 vote, despite rejecting a Democrat-backed amendment that “would have required the state or private insurers to pay for ultrasounds that will be required of women seeking abortions under a bill that Gov. Bob McDonnell recently signed into law.”

Senate Democrats were seeking $3 million in state funding to cover the cost of the procedures for low-income and uninsured women, as well as women who were already covered under private policies. Ultimately, the proposed amendment died on the Senate floor a 20-19 vote, with Sen. Charles Colgan voting with Republicans and Sen. Jill Vogel absent.

We fought for that budget amendment with every fiber of our being,” Sen. Donald McEachin, the Senate Democratic Caucus, said Monday. “But we are the elected leadership of the commonwealth of Virginia and at some point you have to compromise. And so what you saw us do today was compromise. We got 99 percent of the things we went to the mat for. Regrettably this was a very important thing that we didn’t get.”

The Senate spending plan now heads back to the House, where it is expected to be rejected because the Virginia House of Delegates has already passed a budget of its own.

Fatima Najiy