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Virginia Lawmakers Debate Abortion Rights Again

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About 300 demonstrators gathered at the Virginia state house for song, prayer and speeches, as lawmakers again debated restrictions on abortion and contraception.

Rev. Daniel Boone of the Valley View Church in Buchanan, Va. hopes a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Garrett of Lynchburg will pass. It would bar the state from paying for abortions when low-income women are told their fetus has gross physical or mentally incapacitating deformities.

"These women are going through a terrible time," says Cianti Stewart-Reed, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia. "Their pregnancies have gone terribly wrong, and they don't have the money to terminate these pregnancies."

The legislative session lasts about 45 days. In that time, lawmakers may also consider undoing a health department requirement that abortion clinics meet architectural requirements written for new hospitals; a rule that threatens to close most clinics in the state. Virginia must also decide whether to expand Medicaid as part of health care reform.

The federal government has pledged to pay the full cost of expansion.

NPR

'We're Mostly Republicans': New Hampshire Voters Explained By 'Our Town'

After NPR's Bob Mondello used The Music Man to help explain the Iowa caucuses, he wished there was a musical of Our Town so he could do the same for New Hampshire. It turns out there is one.
NPR

Gulf Of Mexico Open For Fish-Farming Business

For the first time, companies can apply to set up fish farms in U.S. federal waters. The government says the move will help reduce American dependence on foreign seafood and improve security.
WAMU 88.5

What's Behind Trends In U.S. Violent Crime Rates

Violent crime rates in the U.S. have dropped dramatically over the last twenty years, but FBI data suggest there was a slight uptick in the first half of last year: What led to the remarkable long-term decline in violent crime in the last two decades in U.S. and prospects the trajectory can continue.

WAMU 88.5

Blocked: Twitter's Role In Combating Violent Extremism

Over the course of seven months, Twitter has suspended over 125,000 accounts for threatening or promoting terrorist acts.

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