Judge issues mixed ruling in Virginia abortion law challenge

Virginia
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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal judge has issued a mixed ruling in a case that challenged four Virginia laws that opponents say restrict access to abortion in the state.

The ruling Monday upheld a law requiring women to undergo an ultrasound and wait at least 24 hours before having an abortion. It also upheld Virginia’s “physician-only” law that bars nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants from performing abortions.

U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson struck down two other state laws, including one requiring all second-trimester abortions to be performed at a licensed outpatient hospital. The judge agreed with opponents that the procedure can be safely performed at clinics and doctor’s offices.

Hudson also overturned regulations that would have required clinics that provide first-trimester abortions to meet the same facility requirements as general and surgical hospitals.

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