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Federal judge strikes down physicians-only abortion law in Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Federal judge has struck down a state law that says only physicians can perform first-trimester abortions.

On Tuesday,  he ruled that requiring a doctor to perform most abortions in the Commonwealth is unconstitutional. His opinion would have the effect of increasing access to abortions by allowing more medical providers to perform the procedure.

The ruling is a victory for abortion rights advocates who argue that first-trimester abortions are safe enough to be performed without a physician.

In the past, the state has argued unsuccessfully that there was a medical benefit to having physicians involved in all abortions.

The ruling takes effect immediately.



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