NewsVirginia Politics


Northam signs 80 bills, including abortion coverage measure

Ralph Northam
Posted at 6:50 PM, Mar 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-13 19:34:24-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday he had signed 80 new bills into law, including a measure that will end a ban on abortion coverage for insurance plans offered through the health benefits exchange in Virginia.

Northam also signed bills that will shift municipal elections from May to November, provide financial aid to students regardless of immigration status, and prohibit school boards from suing families to collect debts on unpaid school meals, his office said in a news release.

“These new measures will support working Virginians, boost civic engagement, and help us continue building a stronger, more inclusive Commonwealth,” Northam said in a statement. “I am grateful to the General Assembly for their hard work on these important issues, and I am proud to sign these bills into law.”

The abortion legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Del. Sally Hudson, undoes a ban enacted during Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration that contained very narrow exceptions. The legislation will allow insurers to cover abortion services but will not require them to do so.