Catholic Diocese of Richmond

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Statement by Bishop Burbidge and Bishop Knestout on Governor Youngkin’s Vetoes of Coercive Contraceptive Bills

May 17, 2024

We are pleased that Governor Youngkin has vetoed SB 237/HB 609 and SB 238/HB 819. These

bills threatened to compel organizations to provide and pay for contraceptives and even some

abortion-inducing drugs and devices against their deeply and sincerely held beliefs. In SB

237/HB 609, the asserted “right” to contraception was alarmingly broad: It would have applied

even to minors seeking sterilization procedures – in direct conflict with Virginia’s parental

consent law.

These two sets of coercive, expansive, and extremely harmful bills were rightfully rejected for

many reasons, including those that previously led Hobby Lobby and the Little Sisters of the Poor

all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. We are grateful to Governor Youngkin for protecting life,

liberty, and parental rights. We also thank the more than 2,000 people who used the Virginia

Catholic Conference’s action alert regarding this legislation to provide vital input to the

Governor’s office. Your participation matters and your voices were valued.



Read the statement on the Virginia Catholic Conference website.