RICHMOND, Va. (AP, WHSV) — UPDATE (Feb. 21):
Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoes House Bill 2264 in a ceremony held outside the executive mansion on the morning of February 21.
A bill introduced by Delegate Ben Cline to cut off funding for abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, has been vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe, as expected.
McAuliffe vowed to veto the bill weeks ago, just like he did last year with a similar bill.
The legislation, House Bill 2264, narrowly passed the Senate on a vote of 20-19 after passing the House 60-33.
It would have cut off federal Title X funding from abortion providers and redirected it to other health clinics. Cline said it was meant to prioritize organizations that provide the "most comprehensive" services.
At a veto ceremony held outside the executive mansion on Tuesday morning, Gov. McAuliffe said he was "proud to add to my record of protecting women's rights by vetoing House Bill 2264."
"Without access to reproductive care and the freedom to exercise choice, women are denied the choice to make deeply personal health decisions," he said on Twitter.
A full statement from the governor on his decision can be read below:
Pursuant to Article V, Section 6, of the Constitution of Virginia, I veto House Bill 2264, which would prohibit the Virginia Department of Health from entering into contracts or providing funds to any entity that performs non-federally qualified abortions.
This bill, aimed at Planned Parenthood, would harm tens of thousands of Virginians who rely on the health care services and programs provided by Planned Parenthood health centers, by denying them access to affordable care. Virginians, and particularly low-income Virginians, need more access to health care, not less.
If we are going to build a new, more vibrant Virginia economy, we need to open doors to quality, affordable health care, not close them. Attempts to restrict women’s access to health care will impede the goal of making Virginia the best place to live, work, and run a business.
Accordingly, I veto this bill.
Terence R. McAuliffe
Gov: "Today I’m proud to add to my record of protecting women’s rights by vetoing House Bill 2264" pic.twitter.com/vDUhM1T02x— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) February 21, 2017
Gov: "It's time that our General Assembly understands that we have a responsibility to protect the rights & dignity of women"— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) February 21, 2017
"The brick wall just got taller and wider." Gov vetoes anti-women's health legislation HB 2264. pic.twitter.com/EYLoEsPQD6— Terry McAuliffe (@GovernorVA) February 21, 2017
UPDATE (Feb. 14):
The bill introduced by Delegate Ben Cline to cut off funding for abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, narrowly passed Virginia's Senate on Valentine's Day.
This comes after protests throughout the state on Saturday in support of Planned Parenthood, including one in Staunton.
House Bill 2264 passed the Senate on a 20-19 vote. It had already passed the House of Delegates on February 9 with a vote of 60-33.
It now moves on to Governor Terry McAuliffe's desk for a signature or a veto. The governor has already vowed to veto the bill, just like he did in 2016 with a similar bill introduced by Delegate Cline.
You can learn more about the bill through the General Assembly's website here.
ORIGINAL STORY (Feb. 9):
A bill that would cut off funding for Planned Parenthood clinics in Virginia is advancing in the General Assembly, despite facing a likely veto from the governor.
A Senate committee voted Thursday to send the bill from Republican Del. Ben Cline to the full chamber. It has already passed the House of Delegates.
Cline's bill would cut off federal Title X funding from abortion providers and redirect it to other health clinics. He says it's meant to prioritize organizations that provide the "most comprehensive" services.
Planned Parenthood performs abortions as well as other services such as cancer screenings. Opponents say the bill will limit women's access to health care.
Cline introduced the same measure last year. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed it and has said through Twitter that he will again, if it passes.