RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia Senate Committee killed a bid to prevent Medicaid patients from having abortions when doctors determine the fetus has profound deformities that make survival unlikely.
The Republican-run Education and Health Committee voted 8-7 against banning state-funded abortions for women with fatally flawed fetuses. Virginia Beach Republican Sen. Harry Blevins joined the panel's seven Democrats.
The bill's sponsor, Louisa County Republican Sen. Tom Garrett, argued that Helen Keller would have been subject to a state-funded abortion under existing state law. Democrats called the claim ridiculous.
By the same ratio, the committee refused to reverse laws mandating pre-abortion ultrasound exams and holding abortion clinics to standards hospitals must meet. It also rejected a bill that would have adopted in state law a broader federal Food and Drug Administration of birth control.