2012 Abortion Bill Haunts Va. Lawmakers As New Session Starts

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Credit: Kimberly Suiters

Credit: Kimberly Suiters

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RICHMOND, Va.— Legislators are arriving in Richmond for a legislative session that will feature debates on education, transportation, guns and uranium mining.

But opening day of the 2013 General Assembly started Wednesday with rallies focused on the issue that dominated last year’s session — abortion.

Hundreds of anti-abortion activists gathered on Capitol Square to celebrate last year’s passage of hotly contested legislation requiring women to get an ultrasound before having an abortion. Among the bills they’re backing this session is one that would grant the full legal rights of personhood to a fetus.

Dozens of abortion-rights supporters staged their own demonstration a few yards away, carrying signs with messages like “Keep politicians out of the exam room.”

Opening day wraps up Wednesday night with Gov. Bob McDonnell’s State of the Commonwealth speech.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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