Since Democrats took control of Virginia's state Legislature earlier this year, their efforts to clamp down on citizens' Second Amendment rights have made national headlines. However, Democrat-led efforts to undo protections for the unborn are also currently making their way to becoming law in the Old Dominion as well.
The Associated Press reported that the Virginia House approved a bill Tuesday that would remove multiple abortion restrictions, including a 24-hour waiting period for abortion procedures and a requirement that women seeking abortions get an ultrasound beforehand. The measure would also end a requirement that only doctors can perform abortions in the state, thereby allowing nurse practitioners to perform them as well. It passed 52-45 with one Democratic legislator voting against it and two abstaining.
"The Reproductive Health Protection Act passed the House today and is headed over to the Senate," Democratic House Majority Leader Charniele Herring — who introduced the bill — tweeted after the vote. "I am proud to carry this bill, and happy to see medical decisions out of the hands of legislators and into the hands of women and their clinicians."
Abortion proponents celebrated the House's vote.
In a tweet following the vote, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia said that it was "thrilled" about the House's passage of the bill "and that legislators understand that the majority of Virginians trust a woman to make her own healthcare decisions."
The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia cheered the vote, saying that the bill removes "medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion."
Opponents of the measure, however, say that Democrats are putting women's health and safety at risk. As the Senate version of the legislation passed out of committee last week, House Minority Todd Gilbert said in a story at WTVR-TV that his colleagues' abortion agenda "goes far beyond just the mantra that they repeat about a woman's right to choose."
"What we're seeing is regardless of common sense, regardless of widely supported restrictive measures," Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb said in the same story, "these folks are just wiping out any, any common sense restriction on abortion."