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Women’s health could spark more heated debate in General Assembly

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – There could be another battle brewing in Virginia over abortion and birth control.

Virginia became the subject of national ridicule in 2012 over a bill mandating a transvaginal ultrasound for women seeking an abortion.

With the 2013 race for governor now underway, Democrats are already calling similar bills being proposed this year as an “assault on women’s health.”

One of those bills, sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), would allow insurance providers to deny women contraception health coverage. Another of Marshall’s bills would make it a criminal offense for a doctor to knowingly perform sex-selective abortions.

State Sen. Thomas Garrett (R-Lynchburg) has also sponsored a bill that would deny abortions to women on Medicaid when the fetus has abnormalities.

But Bill Howell (R-Stafford), speaker of the House of Delegates, says the shorter 30-day session this year should really focus on the economy. He doesn’t think there will be as much attention focused on these bills in 2013.

The general assembly begins its session on Jan. 9.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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