Advocates want to make Virginia an abortion ‘safe haven’

Politics

Lorena Paredes, from Falls Church, Va., speaks during a press conference for a meeting, sponsored by the Pro Choice Coalition, inside the Pocahontas Building in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. With a newly empowered Democratic majority at the Virginia General Assembly, abortion-rights advocates say the state has a chance to roll back decades of restrictions and become a “safe haven” for women in neighboring conservative states. (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

RICHMOND, VA (AP) – With a newly empowered Democratic majority at the Virginia General Assembly, abortion-rights advocates say the state has a chance to roll back decades of restrictions and become a “safe haven” for women in neighboring conservative states.

Abortion-rights groups are pushing to undo Republican-backed laws including a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion and requirements for ultrasound and counseling.

A Senate committee passed that bill Thursday, a day after a House committee advanced that chamber’s version.

Abortion opponents argue the laws protect a pregnant woman’s health and safety and are prudent given the gravity of the decision to obtain an abortion.

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