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 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).


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)

Read NARAL’s full score card here.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.

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