Abortion; funding by Board of Health for certain women. (SB826)

Introduced By

Sen. Tom Garrett (R-Lynchburg) with support from co-patron Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Funding for certain abortions. Repeals the section authorizing the Board of Health to fund abortions for women who meet the financial eligibility criteria of the State Plan for Medical Assistance in cases in which a physician certifies that he believes that the fetus would be born with a gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency. Read the Bill »


01/17/2013: Failed to Pass in Committee


12/28/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13101670D
12/28/2012Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/16/2013Impact statement from DPB (SB826)
01/17/2013Passed by indefinitely in Education and Health (8-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)


ACLU-VA Women's Rights and Reproductive Freedom, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia strongly opposes SB 826 because the bill repeals abortion funding for low-income women when a physician certifies in writing that the fetus has an incapacitating physical or mental anomaly. If SB 826 is approved, Medicaid-eligible women in Virginia will have no option for a pregnancy in which the fetus has an incapacitating physical or mental anomaly. Every woman’s situation is different and many things can go wrong in a pregnancy. No woman plans to have an abortion, but if she needs one, every woman deserves the opportunity to make the best decision for her circumstances. SB 826 places no restrictions on women who can afford to pay for their own abortion and would deny poor women access to safe care, for no other reason than their poverty. Women of Virginia should not be denied necessary healthcare based upon their ability to pay and health care decisions are best made by individuals and their medical providers. Leaving poor women without financial assistance for safe and sometimes critical care threatens their wellbeing. These Medicaid-eligible women are by definition very poor, and SB 826’s denial of care would exacerbate the crisis for those of them who decide they want to terminate the pregnancy. When a woman receives a catastrophic prenatal diagnosis, she should have the option that her wealthier counterparts enjoy to end the pregnancy safely and with dignity. This bill would force her to scramble for money she does not have, and therefore quite possibly carry to term. That is no way to treat a woman in a medical crisis. SB 826 places an undue burden on low-income women who already face decreased access to medical care. Instead of improving the health and safety of low-income women in Virginia, this bill removes another layer of health care from those already at risk.