Health insurance; essential health benefits, abortion coverage. (SB618)

Introduced By

Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) with support from co-patrons Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), and Sen. Don McEachin (D-Richmond)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Essential health benefits; abortion coverage. Removes the prohibition on the provision of coverage for abortions in any qualified health insurance plan that is sold or offered for sale through a health benefits exchange established or operating in Virginia. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/15/2014Presented and ordered printed 14103483D
01/15/2014Referred to Committee on Education and Health
01/23/2014Rereferred from Education and Health (11-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/23/2014Rereferred to Commerce and Labor
01/24/2014Impact statement from SCC (SB618)
02/03/2014Rereferred from Commerce and Labor (16-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/03/2014Rereferred to Education and Health
02/06/2014Reported from Education and Health (9-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/07/2014Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)
02/10/2014Read second time and engrossed
02/11/2014Read third time and defeated by Senate (18-Y 22-N)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 17 minutes.


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

The ACLU of Virginia supports this bill because it repeals a 2013 amendment by Governor McDonnell to HB1900 that prohibits insurance policies offered in the health exchange from covering abortion. It’s wrong for the government to take away insurance coverage for a legal medical procedure. Since insurance companies are willing to provide coverage, politicians shouldn’t interfere. Politicians should not be able to stop private insurance companies that want to cover abortion from doing so. We may not all feel the same way about abortion, but we should all agree that a woman who decides she needs an abortion deserves access to safe and legal medical care. A woman and her doctor should decide what care she needs, not politicians.

Fred Costello writes:

Please see my comments on SB 617.

Diane Lange writes:

Please vote NO to this bill. Please stop forcing the ACLU type positions on us. Enough already.