Youngkin vetoes a large number of Virginia bills, including. measure of access to contraception

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed several bills Friday night from the final batch of the year’s regular legislative session, including legislation focused on protecting access to contraceptives, as well as a measure that would have allowed small businesses to organize games of skill, which are similar. at slot machines.

The vetoes came after Youngkin, a Republican, first proposed amendments that were rejected by the Legislature. In a nightly statement, he said he was willing to continue working with the Democratic-controlled General Assembly on these issues, but was vetoing measures that were “not ready to become law “.

In total, Youngkin signed seven bills and vetoed 48, including the Contraception Rights Act, which was approved by the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate and House of Delegates.

“I support access to contraception. However, we cannot trample on Virginians’ religious freedoms,” Youngkin said in a statement, adding that access to contraception is already protected by the Constitution.

PROTECTING ACCESS TO CONTRACEPTION ADVANCED IN VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed several bills Friday night from the final batch of the year’s regular legislative session, including legislation focused on protecting access to contraceptives, as well as a measure that would have allowed small businesses to organize games of skill, which are similar. at slot machines. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

The bill defined contraception, prevented any restrictions and provided for its enforcement through civil penalties, according to WRC-TV.

Youngkin already returned a substitute measure that was not a new law but a policy declaration that Virginians have the right to access contraception under current Supreme Court precedent. But his motion expired and the original bill was sent back to the governor, who he then vetoed.

“Quality women’s health care is essential and contraception remains a crucial part of reducing abortions and fostering a culture of life, making Virginia the best place to raise a family,” Youngkin said. “As the issue continues to be deliberated by the Legislature and recognizing the diverse religious, ethical and moral beliefs of Virginians, any changes related to contraception must be coupled with strong conscience protection provisions for providers and must also respect the fundamental rights of parents to make decisions regarding the education and care of their children.

woman taking birth control pill

Close-up of a woman’s hand holding birth control pills. (iStock)

He said the measure created “an overbroad cause of action against political subdivisions and parents, as well as against medical professionals acting in their expert judgment and within their scope of practice.”

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Youngkin also said the bill does not include an adequate conscience clause for care providers and also infringes on the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the education and care of their children.

Democrats criticized the veto, with party chair Susan Swecker saying in a statement, “Youngkin just proved to Virginians that once again, he does not care about their health or their rights.”

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In total, Youngkin signed seven bills and vetoed 48.

Youngkin’s veto of the skill games measure, one of the most controversial issues of the year, was widely expected. The governor sought to revise the bill sent to him, but Parliament overwhelmingly rejected his changes. Youngkin wanted a higher tax rate and much stricter limits on where the machines could be placed, demarcating a 35-mile radius around any casino, racetrack or gaming “satellite facility” where they would have been banned.

The governor also vetoed a measure that would have eliminated both the registration and property tax exemption for the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Richmond-based women’s group that helped erect many Confederate monuments nationwide. Supporters argued that the group’s priorities were not consistent with 21st century values.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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