Virginia House OKs undoing GOP-backed abortion restrictions

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Virginia House has approved legislation to undo Republican-backed restrictions on abortion.

The new Democratic majority voted Tuesday to undo requirements that included a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, as well a requirement that women seeking an abortion undergo an ultrasound and counseling.

The bill, which is part of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam's legislative agenda, would also roll back the requirement that an abortion be provided by a physician, allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to perform them.

The House voted after a lengthy debate in which Republicans argued that the bill would hurt women. Supporters of the legislation said current Virginia laws make obtaining an abortion overly burdensome.

The bill now moves to the Senate, which is set to take a final vote on its version of the legislation in the coming days.