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Va. House, Senate approve abortion-related bills

The GOP-controlled House of Delegates gave final approval Tuesday to bills that require women to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion and that state human life begins at conception.

The votes, largely along party lines, came after a lengthy and passionate debate.

“In the vast majority of these cases, these are matters of lifestyle convenience,’’ House Deputy Majority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) said of abortion.

The Senate had already passed an ultrasound bill. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has said he would sign the bill.

Similar personhood legislation passed the House last year, but died in the Senate, which was controlled by Democrats. Supporters hope that the Senate, now led by the GOP, will approve the bill this year, but its fate is still unclear.

On Monday, the Senate advanced a bill that would allow a fetus to be considered a person in a civil wrongful death lawsuit. Only the pregnant woman, or in the event of her death, her representative or the father of the fetus could sue over the fetus’s death. A final vote on the bill is expected Tuesday.

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