Virginia bill wins praise for blocking healthcare coverage for abortions

Abortion-rights opponents are welcoming a Virginia bill to block the state's ObamaCare insurance exchange from offering plans that cover abortions. 

The Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List, which supports political candidates who oppose abortion rights, called the measure's passage Wednesday a triumph for taxpayers who "do not want their tax dollars paying for abortions." 

"The SBA List is grateful for the leadership of Governor [Bob] McDonnell (R) in ensuring Virginia taxpayers are not forced to pay for abortions in the state’s healthcare exchange," the group's president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said in a statement. 

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Virginia has elected a federally run insurance exchange, where residents lacking coverage will be able to select from a variety of qualified health plans starting in October.

The SBA List's research arm stated that at least 20 states have approved limits on abortion coverage through their insurance marketplaces.

The Virginia amendment states that no qualified health insurance plans on the exchanges shall cover abortions, "regardless of whether such coverage is provided through the plan or is offered as a separate optional rider thereto."

The measure contains exceptions in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the woman's life. It passed the state Senate and the House of Delegates on Wednesday by votes of 20-19 and 55-37, respectively.