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07 Feb 2014

Reorganized Senate Committee Passes Abortion Bills

By Chris Suarez Capital News Service RICHMOND — Two abortion-related bills were passed this past week by The Virginia Health and Education Senate Committee a day after the House of Delegates struck down a pair of identical measures in committee. The Senate bills — SB617 and SB618 — introduced by Sen. Mamie Locke, D-Hampton — […]

12 Apr 2013

Board OKs Strict Rules for Abortion Clinics

The Virginia Board of Health voted Friday to require abortion clinics to meet hospital building-code standards – rules that abortion rights activists said would force many of the state’s 20 clinics to close.

03 Apr 2013

Assembly Approves Anti-abortion Amendment

The General Assembly on Wednesday narrowly approved an amendment by Gov. Bob McDonnell that will prohibit certain health insurance companies in Virginia from providing coverage for women seeking an abortion.

21 Mar 2013

Not on ‘Daily Show’ (That’s the News)

Last year around this time, Virginia was in the spotlight: Newspapers and talk show hosts, like comedian Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show,” ripped state legislators for passing a bundle of laws targeting abortion. But during the legislative session that ended last month, there was hardly a peep about the issue from members of the General Assembly.

10 Jan 2013

Debate Over Abortion Rights Carries Over To New Session

About two dozen anti-abortion groups from across the country joined the Virginia Society for Human Life at its “Stand Up for Life” gathering on the General Assembly’s opening day.

09 Jan 2013

Reproductive Rights Still a Focus at Capitol

About 30 abortion rights activists from the Cooch Watch protest group lined the streets outside of the 47th annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast at the Greater Richmond Convention Center on Wednesday morning. Around the same time, about two dozen anti-abortion groups from across the country joined the Virginia Society for Human Life at its “Stand Up for Life” gathering.

04 Apr 2012

Anti-abortion group draws criticism over display

A national anti-abortion group assembled a graphic display to promote its cause Wednesday in VCU’s Commons Plaza.

09 Mar 2012

200 Attend Candlelight Vigil Near Governor’s Mansion

More than 200 men and women lined the sidewalk behind the Governor’s Mansion on Thursday night to protest Gov. Bob McDonnell’s signing of a bill requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion. The candlelight vigil was the fourth event in response to legislation that some demonstrators say is an attack on women’s reproductive rights.

06 Mar 2012

Protesters Show Up, but Governor Doesn’t

Undeterred by a surprise early vote from Gov. Bob McDonnell, about 30 reproductive rights activists gathered in front of Precinct 607 this morning to protest the governor’s support of anti-abortion legislation. The protest was scheduled to coincide with McDonnell’s vote in Virginia’s Republican presidential primary.

03 Mar 2012

33 Women’s Rights Protesters Arrested at Capitol

Thirty-three demonstrators were arrested Saturday afternoon at the state Capitol during a protest against legislation they said would violate women’s reproductive rights. At 2:17 p.m., Capitol Police officers declared that the demonstration was unlawful because many of the protesters were on the Capitol steps without a permit.

29 Feb 2012

Senate Narrowly Approves Mandatory Ultrasound Bill

The Virginia Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that will require any woman seeking an abortion to undergo a mandatory ultrasound examination. House Bill 462 has been the focus of extensive debate during this year’s General Assembly. It even fell victim to national ridicule last week before being amended on the recommendation of Gov. Bob McDonnell.

27 Feb 2012

Senate Shelves Marshall’s ‘Personhood’ Bill

The General Assembly has decided to postpone until next year consideration of a bill that would grant personhood rights to a human embryo from the moment of conception. The Senate last week sent the measure, House Bill 1, back to a committee after Democrats and some Republicans said it could have unforeseen consequences. Democratic officials and abortion rights groups saw the move as a victory.

24 Feb 2012

Legislators Craft Less Invasive Ultrasound Bill

Both chambers of the General Assembly started revising legislation forcing women to get a fetal ultrasound before an abortion after Gov. Bob McDonnell persuaded lawmakers not to require a vaginal probe as part of the procedure. That change was reflected in the revised version of House Bill 462 that the Senate Education and Health Committee approved Thursday on an 8-7 party-line vote.

20 Feb 2012

More Than 1,000 Protest Anti-Abortion Bills

More than 1,000 people turned out at the Capitol on Monday to silently protest a wave of legislation that they claim undermines women’s reproductive rights. The demonstration focused largely on two measures: House Bill 1, which would give the legal status of a human being to a fertilized egg, and HB 462, which would require a trans-vaginal ultrasound before undergoing an abortion.

16 Feb 2012

Bills Undercut Reproductive Rights, Democrats Say

Democratic leaders and women’s right advocates sounded the alarm Thursday about three bills they said would limit a woman’s reproductive freedom in Virginia. They said House Bill 1, which would grant individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception, would be a step toward making all abortions illegal. On Tuesday, the House of Delegates passed the measure on a 66-32 vote.

14 Feb 2012

VCU Students Rally for Equal Rights

On a windy and dreary Valentine’s Day, about 40 VCU students and other Richmond residents held a rally to protest legislation they said would undermine a litany of rights – from abortion rights and gay rights to voting rights and free speech.

12 Feb 2012

Democrats Accuse GOP of ‘Divisive’ Agenda

Facing a torrent of what they consider “bad bills,” Democrats in the General Assembly acknowledge that they do not have enough votes to stop socially conservative legislation on issues like abortion, gay rights, voter identification requirements and drug testing of welfare recipients. House and Senate Democrats gathered Thursday to criticize the wave of “divisive social-issue legislative overreach” they say Republicans are perpetrating in Richmond.

28 Jan 2012

Mandatory Ultrasound Bill Reaches Senate Floor

A bill requiring a woman to get an ultrasound before having an abortion has cleared a crucial committee and been sent to the Senate floor for a vote next week.
All eight Republicans on the Senate Education and Health Committee voted in favor of the measure, Senate Bill 484, which was sponsored by Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel, R-Winchester. All seven Democrats on the panel voted against it.

27 Jan 2012

Record Turnout for Catholic Advocacy Day

About 250 members of the Richmond and Arlington dioceses participated Thursday in the Virginia Catholic Conference’s 2012 Catholic Advocacy Day. That was a record turnout for the annual event, said Jeffrey Caruso, the executive director of the VCC.

25 Jan 2012

Marshall Sees Hope for ‘Personhood’ Bill

Now that Democrats no longer control the House or the Senate, Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, is hoping the General Assembly will pass his bill defining a human embryo or fetus is a person under the law.

23 Jan 2012

Catholic Advocacy Day Set for Thursday

Catholic Advocacy Day, a one-day event where members of the Virginia Catholic Conference voice their concerns on 2012 legislation, takes place Thursday in downtown Richmond. Advocates will speak to Virginia legislators about such issues as the death penalty, religious freedom, health care and education, with a focus on “unborn life and ethical research standards.”

15 Jan 2012

Anti-abortion Bills Find New Life in General Assembly

The Virginia General Assembly has been a battleground over abortion rights for years. While many bills restricting abortion rights were killed in the Democratic-controlled Senate in the past, recent Republican gains in the upper chamber increase the odds that some of these bills will pass this session.

13 Jan 2012

‘Personhood’ Bill Spurned by Virginia Democrats

Virginia Democratic leaders are speaking out against Republican legislation that they said seeks to make abortion illegal and even might restrict access to some forms of legal birth control.

11 May 2011

New Laws Target Access to Abortion

It will be harder to get an abortion in Virginia because of two laws passed by the 2011 General Assembly. One law will prohibit certain private health insurance plans from covering abortions; the other will require clinics that perform abortions to meet hospital standards or shut down.

11 May 2011

She Is ‘Silent No More’; He Sees a TRAP

Anti-abortion activists are cheering and abortion rights activists are steaming over new laws that would regulate abortions in Virginia. A coordinator of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign says the laws will protect women’s health. But an official with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia says the laws are politically motivated and will restrict abortion access and decrease safety.

11 May 2011

Clinics Brace for Tighter Rules

By September, the Virginia Board of Health plans to announce the regulations that must be met by clinics that provide five or more first-trimester abortions a month. The clinics then will have until January to satisfy the requirements – or shut their doors.

07 Apr 2011

Lawmakers Uphold Ban on Abortion Coverage

Abortion will not be covered by certain private insurance plans in Virginia after the General Assembly on Wednesday upheld Gov. Bob McDonnell’s amendments to Virginia’s Healthcare Exchange Act.

04 Apr 2011

CNS Stories for Week 12 (March 28-April 3)

Here are the stories we distributed over the past week. Headlines include: “$100 Fine for Flicking a Cigarette Butt?” … “CNN’s Ali Velshi Discusses Financial Crisis” … “McDonnell Amends Autism Bill to Mixed Reaction” … “Sales of VCU Swag at All-Time High.”

28 Feb 2011

Catholics Celebrate Legislative Wins

As the 2011 General Assembly session drew to a close, leaders of the Virginia Catholic Conference celebrated their victories and prepared for next year’s fights.

28 Feb 2010

Timeline & follow-up stories on Marshall’s comments

Here is a timeline on the controversy surrounding Delegate Bob Marshall’s comments about abortions and disabled children, with links to follow-up stories.

26 Feb 2010

Marshall Demands Apology for ‘Slanderous’ Story

Delegate Bob Marshall has demanded an apology over a Capital News Service story that reported comments he made linking abortion and disabled children. But as Marshall’s quotes gained attention on Web sites, blogs and social networking outlets, public outrage grew over his words. Read the full story here or on VCU’s Commonwealth TimesRVANews or the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily

26 Feb 2010

Delegate Pogge Disavows Marshall’s Remarks

Delegate Brenda Pogge of Yorktown has stepped forward to “disavow” controversial remarks made by Delegate Bob Marshall of Manassas suggesting that disabled children are a punishment for having an abortion. Read the story here or in the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily.

23 Feb 2010

More audio, video of Marshall’s comments

Bob Marshall: ‘Special punishment’

Here is audio from a press conference last week at which Delegate Bob Marshall, R-Manassas, said: “The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children. In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

On Monday, Marshall said he does not believe that disabled children are punishment for having an abortion. “I regret any misimpression my poorly chosen words may have created as to my deep commitment to fighting for these vulnerable children and their families.”

Read Kelsey Radcliffe’s story about Marshall’s remarks on the Williamsburg-Yorktown Daily. Click on the headline of this news item to hear Marshall’s complete remarks at the press conference.

22 Feb 2010

Legislator Regrets ‘Poorly Chosen Words’

State Delegate Bob Marshall said Monday he does not believe that disabled children are punishment for having an abortion. Marshall, a Republican from Manassas, was responding to a Capital News Service story quoting remarks he made last week at a press conference to oppose state funding for Planned Parenthood.