On Friday, Virginia’s Democratic Governor, Ralph Northam, signed a bill into law requiring state taxpayers to fund abortions under any circumstance.
According to Catholic News Agency, the signing of the legislation was met by criticism from several state bishops on Friday.
"Governor Northam has crossed yet another tragic threshold by inserting abortion without limits into Virginia's health benefits exchange," said Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond.
"We decry the enactment of this deplorable policy, which is built on the destructive lie that abortion is healthcare," they added. "We are saddened when we contemplate the increased number of unborn lives likely to be lost as a result."
Both bishops expressed their continued support of protecting the unborn “without despair, and with maximum determination.”
“So many lives, who have no voice except ours, depend on it,” they said.
Virginia’s healthcare plans will now cover abortion under any circumstances. Previously, the plan under the Affordable Care Act did not include abortion coverage except for in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
Northam has also been criticized for his previous signings of legislation that would further allow abortions in the state.
On Good Friday 2020, Northam rescinded other restrictions on abortion, permitting physician assistants and nurse practitioners to perform abortions. In 2019, the Virginia governor supported a bill easing restrictions on third-trimester abortions, in which he was widely criticized for his remarks as an endorsement of infanticide.
When asked about the measure on a local radio station, WTOP NEWS, Northam explained that third-trimester abortions are done with the consent of the parents and their physicians, particularly if there are “severe deformities” or if the fetus is “non-viable”.
“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.