RICHMOND, Virginia, FEB. 7, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The Virginia General Assembly gave final legislative approval to a bill requiring a 24-hour waiting period for women who want abortions.
The measure, which requires doctors to offer women detailed information about abortion and its alternatives at least 24 hours before carrying out the abortion, was approved 24-16 by the state Senate, following action last week in the House of Delegates.
It marked a major milestone in a 20-year effort by pro-lifers to restrict abortion, which was legalized in 1973, the Washington Post noted.
The bill now goes to Governor James S. Gilmore III, who has made the 24-hour waiting period and other abortion restrictions a centerpiece of his legislative agenda. "I think it's a good thing for women to have the maximum amount of information," he told reporters.
The vote cheered pro-lifers, who said they are close to victory on a political and social agenda that included passage four years ago of a law requiring teen-age girls to notify their parents before undergoing the procedure.
Abortion foes said they would press the General Assembly to revive a ban on partial-birth abortions next year with legislation that would include as narrow a health exception as they could propose and survive a constitutional challenge.