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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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Conservative Women Fight ERA Push in Virginia

Virginia lawmakers are trying to resurrect the federal Equal Rights Amendment. In a 26-14 vote, the Virginia Senate passed a resolution to ratify the amendment, which now heads to the House of Delegates.

Should it pass, it will be sent to the national archivists and the debate on the issue will begin in ernest. Specifically, Virginia would be the 38th state to ratify the amendment; however, the time limit imposed by Congress to ratify the amendment expired in 1982.

While those who support the amendment will claim it’s about “putting women into the Constitution,” opponents not only question its legality given the lapse in time to ratify, but also claim that the ERA would actually harm women by making them open to being drafted into combat, and by making sex-based prisons, locker rooms, sports teams, and hospital rooms obsolete. Beyond that, the ERA is and always has been about making abortion a right.

“The ERA is not about women. It is really a smokescreen for abortion,” said Patrina Mosley, director of life, culture, and women’s advocacy for the Family Research Council.

It’s hard to believe that the fight for ERA, which conservative Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum fought and won years ago, continues today.

Where does Tennessee stand on ERA? The Tennessee Legislature initially ratified the amendment in 1972, but rescinded its ratification in 1974.

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