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Virginia Democrats Pledge To Roll Back Abortion Restrictions

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A group of Democratic members of the General Assembly have announced that they will push for repeal of several abortion-related laws that have passed in recent years.

Senator Barbara Favola said women deserve access to safe and legal health care. "What Virginia is suffering is death by a thousand lashes. We continue to have bills that will significantly erode our access to safe and legal abortions," she says.

Del. Jeion Ward's bill would remove the requirement for an ultrasound before an abortion. She said she has seen thousands of bills in 11 sessions. "Not one single bill has ever asked or required a man to have any kind of procedure done," she says.

Other bills would repeal the $2,500 fine on doctors who don't first perform ultrasounds and reverse a provision barring health insurance marketplace policies from covering abortions.

But House Speaker Bill Howell's spokesman, Matthew Moran, said the GOP will focus elsewhere.

"We're disappointed that Democrats have chosen to make such a divisive social issue the centerpiece of their legislative agenda. We believe strongly that our focus should be on growing Virginia's economy, strengthening our schools and focusing on the kitchen table issues," he says.

Democrats also vow to fight new abortion restrictions.

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