Virginia’s two Catholic bishops did not waste any time expressing their disapproval of Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday after he vetoed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
Virginia Bishops Francis DiLorenzo of Richmond and Michael Burbidge of Arlington issued a statement soon after McAuliffe vetoed the legislation, criticizing the governor for supporting the abortion business, Angelus reports.
“Surrounded by Planned Parenthood supporters at a veto ceremony outside the Governor’s Mansion this morning, Gov. McAuliffe said his actions protected the rights and dignity of Virginia women – when, in fact, his actions harm the dignity of the women deceived by the multi-billion dollar abortion industry as well as the tiniest females, those still in the womb whose lives are brutally eliminated by abortion,” their statement on behalf of the Virginia Catholic Conference said.
“The Conference finds Gov. McAuliffe’s pride in protecting an organization that destroys life and harms women and their families deeply offensive,” the bishops continued. “We will continue to fight for the day when Virginia law protects all human life, at every stage of development, from conception until natural death.”
Virginia House Bill 2264 passed both state houses with strong support earlier this month. The legislation would have cut off federal Title X funding for Planned Parenthood and any other group that does abortions in Virginia, and redirect the tax dollars to community health clinics that provide more comprehensive care, but not abortions.
State Del. Ben Cline, R-Amherst, sponsor of the bill, said the legislation would have ensured that hospitals and federally qualified health clinics receive funding first.
“This important legislation would have prioritized taxpayer dollars toward providers of more comprehensive health care services, and the governor’s veto undermines those efforts to improve health care in rural and underserved areas,” Cline said in a statement.
Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, pointed to more than 140 federally qualified and rural health clinics in Virginia that provide comprehensive health care to women and families. She also noted that many of these clinics are located in rural areas where the abortion group does not have facilities.
“Virginia has a duty to steward taxpayer money in a way that ensures funds are distributed by priority to the most effective point-of-service health-care providers,” Cobb said. “This legislation simply ensures that hospitals, federally qualified health clinics and rural health clinics are funded over abortion centers.”
McAuliffe vetoed similar legislation last year. It is unclear whether the state legislature has enough votes override the governor’s veto.
U.S. Congress also is working to defund the abortion group. Legislators plan to redirect the tax dollars to federally-qualified community health clinics that offer more comprehensive care but don’t perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood has been exposed in recent videos as not providing prenatal care, despite claims to the contrary, and only providing ultrasounds in preparation for abortions. It performs about 320,000 abortions a year, about one third of all the abortions in the U.S.