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Utrasound abortion bill clears Va. Senate

Thursday - 2/23/2012, 2:31pm  ET

By BOB LEWIS
AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. - A day after Virginia Republican legislators dropped a bitterly contested requirement that women undergo invasive pre-abortion ultrasound imaging, the intrusive procedure has been dropped from a companion bill.

Del. Kathy Byron conformed her bill to match the Senate measure and the Senate Education and Health Committee reported it 8-7 Thursday.

The House voted to only require external ultrasounds after Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell withdrew his support for procedures requiring insertion of a wand-like device that emits ultrasonic waves used to create fetal images.

That bill now returns to the Senate, where its sponsor, Sen. Jill Vogel, says she will strike it.

The panel will also consider legislation that would confer legal "personhood" to embryos and criminalize their destruction if the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortions is overturned.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)