Federal Court Strikes Down Virginia Law Prohibiting Nurses From Aborting Babies

State   Micaiah Bilger   May 7, 2019   |   6:15PM    Richmond, VA

A federal judge struck down a Virginia law this week that requires licensed medical doctors to perform abortions.

NBC 4 reports U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson released his decision Monday. He argued that the law is “unnecessary,” and it puts an unconstitutional burden on women who want abortions.

It “provides minimal medical benefits with respect to first trimester abortions,” Hudson wrote.

WCVE News reports abortion activists who challenged the law claim that it does not protect women, it just restricts abortions.

About 40 states have similar laws in place, though the abortion industry is challenging many of them in lawsuits. These laws protect women’s health and safety by requiring that a licensed medical doctor perform the abortion.

Olivia Gans Turner, president of the Virginia Society for Human Life, called the ruling “shocking.” Part of her concern comes from personal experience; she had an abortion years ago before becoming a pro-life advocate.

“In his decision, Judge Henry E. Hudson, showing complete disregard for the safety of women having an abortion, claimed that abortion facilities ‘do not require the onsite presence of a licensed physician,’” she said.

Jenny Ma, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights, which is challenging the law, celebrated the ruling.

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“This decision will change the abortion care landscape in Virginia,” Ma told the local news. “More medical professionals will now be able to provide abortion care, which means more women will be able to access this constitutional right. We are challenging these laws in several other states and hope those courts will follow Virginia’s lead.”

However, the ruling contradicts U.S. Supreme Court precedent. According to the Virginia Society for Human Life:

Referring to ‘our repeated statements . . . that the performance of abortions may be restricted to physicians,’ the Supreme Court in Mazurek v. Armstrong noted that Roe v. Wade itself said the “State may determine the term ‘physician’ to mean only a physician currently licensed by the State, and may proscribe any abortion by a person who is not a physician as so defined.’” In their unceasing quest to promote no-limits destruction of unborn children regardless of stage of development or ability to feel pain, abortion advocates are more extreme even than the Roe v. Wade decision they claim to defend.

Turner said she is worried that Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, who supports abortion on demand, will not appeal the ruling because the U.S. Supreme Court likely will overturn it.

Victoria Cobb, leader of the pro-life Family Foundation, also lamented the ruling, saying it helps the abortion industry, not women.

“The abortion industry continues to seek new ways to increase the number of unborn children killed before they are born,” Cobb said.

Challenging common sense abortion restrictions is a new tactic of the abortion industry. In April, the Center for Reproductive Rights also successfully challenged a Montana law requiring that only licensed physicians and physicians assistants perform abortions. The state Supreme Court upheld a ruling allowing nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to do abortions in the state.

In Virginia, the Center for Reproductive Rights also is challenging laws that require women be offered the chance to see an ultrasound of her unborn baby and another that requires a 24-hour waiting period between informed consent and the abortion.