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Virginia governor vows to veto bill that aims to defund Planned Parenthood

(Wikimedia Commons/Charlotte Cooper)Planned Parenthood Rally in New York City in 2011.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has promised to veto a bill that was recently passed by the Senate. The said bill aims to strip Planned Parenthood of its non-Medicaid funds.

The Senate voted 20–19 along party lines on Tuesday to approve H.B. 2264, which would cut off federal Title X funding for Planned Parenthood and other organizations that perform abortions. The measure would redirect the tax dollars to community health clinics that do not perform abortions and provide more comprehensive care, Life News reported.

Del. Ben Cline, the sponsor of the bill, said that it would ensure that health clinics and hospitals would receive funding before abortion centers.

McAuliffe had vetoed a similar bill last year during an event at Planned Parenthood's Richmond center, and he is expected to do the same to H.B. 2264. "And I will veto it again this year," he tweeted last week when the bill cleared the House.

Planned Parenthood denounced the measure, saying women will have nowhere else to go for services, such as testing for sexually transmitted infections.

"This bill specifically targets Planned Parenthood and, if passed into law, would undermine the health of thousands of our patients who count on us for comprehensive care," said Virginia CEO Paulette McElwain, according to Christian News.

"Clearly, the senators voting for this bill have no real sense of its impact. We know that immediately scores of Virginia women would no longer have access to STI testing, a subsidized service utilized by nearly 2,000 of our patients last year," she continued.

However, one pro-life advocate pointed out that there are other alternatives for the non-abortion services that Planned Parenthood provides.

Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, said that there are over 140 clinics in Virginia that offer comprehensive services to women, and many of them are in areas where Planned Parenthood does not have clinics.

"It was extremely disingenuous for apologists of the abortion industry to argue that passing the bill would prevent abortion centers from having funds to do testing for sexually transmitted diseases and thus have serious negative health consequences," she said, as reported by Life Site News.

She asserted that the abortion industry fought to remove safety standards that required abortion centers to perform STD testing.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, there were 21,080 abortions performed in Virginia in 2014, the latest year on file. The majority of the women that obtained abortions were unmarried and many claimed to be religious.

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