The Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate on Friday passed a bill that would make the state the first in the South to repeal a ban on abortion coverage for plans sold in the state’s health insurance exchange.
The legislation, which passed 20-17 along party lines, was written by Sen. Jennifer McClellan, a Democrat who represents Richmond.
Abortion is the only legal medical procedure barred from plans sold by private companies in the state-based health exchange, Ms. McClellan said in a statement Friday, the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide.
“Today, Virginia moved one step closer to ending an unnecessary law that restricts Virginians’ reproductive health care options,” Ms. McClellan said. “Virginians deserve to be able to choose whatever health plan meets their needs, but that option is not available to Virginians covered by the exchange.”
A companion bill is being considered in the state House of Delegates.