RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia's House has passed legislation that would end public funding for abortions, another triumph for a large, socially conservative legislative majority.
Republicans, who muscled the bill through on a 64-35 vote, noted that nothing in it diminishes women's abortion rights.
It conforms state policy for Medicaid recipients to a longstanding federal law known as the Hyde Amendment, which forbids government funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or the mother's life.
Virginia is among several states that allow Medicaid to cover abortions, but does so using only state funds.
Democrats said it unfairly singles out low-income women who learn of grossly incapacitating fetal deformities but would have to give birth anyway while wealthier women could terminate their pregnancies under such tragic circumstances.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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