Bill would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks

FILE - A Saturday, July 6, 2013 file photo showing Stephen and Pauline O'Brien, foreground, holding Catholic rosary beads as they march through Ireland's capital, Dublin, in an anti-abortion protest. Ireland is debating its constitutional ban on abortion again because of a case involving a brain-dead pregnant woman on life support. Irish media reported Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, that family members want to turn off the woman’s life support systems but doctors are refusing because the law requires them to defend the right to life of her 16-week-old fetus. Fetuses typically cannot survive outside the womb until around 24 weeks. (AP Photo/Shawn Pogatchnik, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia Republican lawmaker is advocating for a bill that would make it illegal to perform an abortion on a woman who has been pregnant for 20 weeks or longer.

Del. Dave A. LaRock introduced legislation Thursday that would make it a felony for doctors to perform anabortion after 20 weeks except in cases of medical emergencies.

The legislation is drawing the ire of abortion-rights groups. Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made clear he will block efforts at limiting abortion rights.

The bill’s fate in the General Assembly is unclear. While supported by conservative lawmakers, leaders of the GOP-controlled House have made the focus of legislative agenda on “kitchen table” subjects like the economy and education instead of social issues.

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