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Virginia Senate panel kills anti-abortion measure

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Local,Virginia,Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Virginia Senate Committee killed a bid to prevent Medicaid patients from having abortions when doctors determine the fetus has profound deformities that make survival unlikely.

But the same Republican-run committee rejected Democratic efforts to repeal new year-old laws mandating pre-abortion ultrasound exams and holding abortion clinics to standards hospitals must meet.

The Education and Health Committee voted 8-7 against banning state-funded abortions for women with fatally flawed fetuses. Virginia Beach Republican Sen. Harry Blevins joined the panel's seven Democrats.

But by the same ratio, the committee refused to reverse the ultrasound mandate that made Virginia a butt of jokes last year and the more stringent clinic regulations. It also rejected a bill that would have adopted in state law a broader federal Food and Drug Administration of birth control.

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