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Virginia governor vetoes bill defunding Planned Parenthood

Virginia governor vetoes bill defunding Planned Parenthood
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Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday said he was “very proud” to veto a GOP-led bill that would have stripped Planned Parenthood of state funding.

"We're here today to smack down the latest attack on women's healthcare rights," McAuliffe said at an event attended by Planned Parenthood patients and staff.

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"I am very proud of my strong record on reproductive rights, and let me tell you this: I am very proud to veto this particular piece of legislation," he said, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

The bill, offered by a central Virginia Republican, was approved along party lines in both the House and Senate. McAuliffe promised over the last three months that he would veto the bill, which he said threatens Planned Parenthood and other organizations.

Under the bill, the state health department couldn’t offer any grants to organizations that cover abortions, except for hospitals, or pay for any services.

Similar legislation has been passed in a handful of other states following a controversial video campaign by anti-abortion activists that accused Planned Parenthood of illegally profiting from a fetal tissue donation program. The claims have been debunked by a grand jury in Texas as well as governor-ordered probes in about a dozen states.

Just one day earlier, Florida Gov. Rick Scott became the latest GOP governor to approve a bill that restricts funding for Planned Parenthood.

At least two states that have defunded Planned Parenthood — Louisiana and Georgia — are now embroiled in legal battles over their decision to do so.

The Obama administration has warned states that cut off funding to Planned Parenthood by refusing to approve Medicaid contracts with those providers are violating federal law, which gives Medicaid patients access to the provider of their choice.