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Posted at 04:02 PM ET, 05/01/2012

NARAL grades Virginia lawmakers on abortion-related legislation

Another batch of report cards is out in Richmond, this time from an abortion-rights group.

Sen. John Watkins (R-Powhatan) on the steps of the Capitol in January. Watkins was one of two Republicans to earn a perfect score from NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. (Tracy A. Woodward - WASHINGTON POST)
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia rated General Assembly members on their performance last session, just days after the Virginia Chamber of Commerce issued legislative report cards of its own.

NARAL based its rankings on a number of highly contentious abortion-related legislation. Among them was a bill that, before it was amended, would have required women to undergo a vaginal ultrasound before an abortion. As approved, the measure requires that women submit to an abdominal ultrasound instead.

The so-called personhood bill, which failed amid a national uproar over the ultrasound bill, would have defined a fertilized egg as a person. Two other bills, which also died, would have banned abortions after 20 weeks, and would have denied state-funded abortions to poor women whose fetuses had gross physical or mental deformities.

Of the 140 legislators, 51 received perfect scores from NARAL — 19 out of 40 senators and 32 out of 100 delegates. For the first time, two Republicans each received A-plus ratings:Sen. John C. Watkins (Powhatan) and Del. Tom Rust (Fairfax).

“As the political leader of the pro-choice movement in Virginia, we are
Alexander Butler, 14 (right) shakes hands with Del. Tom Rust whom he invited as a guest speaker to the first Northern Virginia Teen Republican Club meeting in Ashburn in February. (Marvin Joseph - WASHINGTON POST)
keeping score and holding legislators accountable for the votes they cast either for or against reproductive rights in the Commonwealth,” Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said in a prepared statement. “Looking at the extreme bills we faced this year and the high number of lawmakers who supported them, no one can deny there is definitely a War on Women being waged in Richmond,.”

Read NARAL’s full score card here.

By  |  04:02 PM ET, 05/01/2012

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