Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Catholic, cast the tie-breaking vote on Wednesday to pass a bill to liberalize abortion access in the commonwealth.
Senate Bill 733 received 20 votes in favor and 20 votes against on Jan. 29. Virginia’s state Senate is composed of 21 Democrats and 19 Republicans. Fairfax, as lieutenant governor, is the Senate president and casts tie-breaking votes.
The bill, which has already passed the House and now awaits the Governor’s signature, would repeal a Virginia law mandating that only doctors can perform abortions, allowing other medical professionals, such as physicians assistants and nurse practictioners, to do abortions.