Federal Court Strikes Down Virginia Law Requiring Only Physicians Perform Abortions

In a first-of-its-kind decision, U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson struck down a portion of a 44-year-old Virginia law requiring that physicians perform abortions.

Judge Hudson struck down the provisions of the law relative to first-trimester abortions because the restriction in those cases provided only “minimal medical benefits;” however, he left intact the limitation as to second-trimester abortions.

According to Jenny Ma, an attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights that litigated the case, “This decision will change the abortion care landscape in Virginia. More medical professionals will now be able to provide abortion care, which means more women will be able to access this constitutional right.”

The Virginia Catholic Bishops, however, see it another way. In a statement, they noted that Judge Hudson’s “opinion goes beyond Roe v. Wade and reveals the extreme measures that are being taken by pro-abortion groups to eliminate even common-sense restrictions on abortion. . . . Today’s disappointing and legally questionable decision is another example of why we must all remain vigilant and mobilized as the extreme abortion agenda continues to be advanced in Virginia.”

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