Virginia lawmakers take on bills affecting abortion rights

Posted at 6:47 AM, Jan 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-17 09:53:59-05

Lawmakers have another busy day in Richmond Wednesday.

On the agenda — a couple of bills affecting abortion.

Democrats are once again trying to eliminate Virginia's controversial ultrasound law. Virginia received national attention and dozens of protesters were arrested when the bill was passed in 2012 and signed by then-governor Bob McDonnell.

If you're not familiar with the law — Virginia requires women seeking an abortion to receive a transabdominal ultrasound before the procedure.

Anti-abortion groups and lawmakers say the intent is to give a woman all the information available before making a life-altering decision.

On the flip side — activists and Democrats say since abortion is a woman's right — an ultrasound before the procedure is an invasion of privacy and medically unnecessary.

The bills before a Senate panel Wednesday aims to repeal the law.

Efforts like this have come up every year since — and thus far have met the same fate. Republicans hold slim margins in both the house of delegates and senate — and have shown little sign of changing their stance.

Two bills are scheduled to go before the Senate Education and Health Committee Wednesday morning.

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