McClellan Statement on Senate Rejection of Governor’s Amendment to Restrict Abortion Access

McClellan Statement on Senate Rejection of Amendment to Restrict Abortion Access

RICHMOND, VA – Today, the Senate of Virginia rejected Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s amendment seeking to prohibit state funding for Medicaid-eligible Virginians to receive abortion care in the case of gross and incapacitating fetal abnormalities. The Senate rejected the amendment by a 20-19 vote.

“For Virginians facing a devastating fetal diagnosis, the type of health insurance they have should not determine their access to the care they choose,” Sen. McClellan said. “The Senate correctly rejected this damaging amendment, which would have told Medicaid recipients that they were on their own. The defeat of this amendment sends a clear message: Virginians do not want to turn back the clock on abortion rights.”

Prior to the vote, Sen. McClellan delivered a floor speech, highlighting the stories of Virginians who faced fetal abnormalities. McClellan’s speech is available here.

McClellan was the leading Senate patron of the 2020 Reproductive Health Protection Act, the first of its kind law in the South to remove medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion and more broadly protect access to reproductive health care. It removed restrictions like mandatory ultrasounds, 24-hour waiting periods, and targeted regulation of abortion providers (TRAP) laws that require abortion providers to be regulated like hospitals.

McClellan was also the chief Senate patron of a law passed in 2021 that removed the prohibition on abortion coverage for health insurance plans offered via the health exchange.