February 25, 2011
Legislators have voted to make Virginia the first state to regulate clinics that provide first-trimester abortions.
The Senate deadlocked on the issue, and Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling cast the tie-breaking vote.
Republican Del. Kathy Byron tacked the amendment onto a Senate bill that dealt with infection prevention and disaster preparedness at hospitals and nursing homes. Doing so allowed the bill to sidestep a Senate committee notorious for killing anti-abortion legislation and force a vote on the Senate floor, where Democrats hold a tiny majority.
Two anti-abortion Democrats voted with Republicans to approve the measure.
The bill requires the clinics to be categorized as hospitals, and thus regulated by the state Board of Health.
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