Virginia Medicaid abortion fund ban killed

(Photo courtesy abbybatchelder via Flickr)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A bill that would have banned Medicaid funding for indigent women with severely deformed fetuses who seek abortions has been defeated in Virginia's General Assembly.

On a 13-2 vote, the Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday to kill a bill by Del. Mark Cole that would have eliminated state funding for low income women who have learned that their fetuses have gross, incapacitating and perhaps mortal deformities.

Cole says it conforms state law to the federal ban on funding most abortions. It was among several bills that regularly bring protesters by the hundreds to Capitol Square, and that subjected the state to national scorn and ridicule by columnists, political commentators and television comedians.

A remaining bill that would mandate ultrasound exams for women seeking abortions is before the full Senate today.