Virginia governor vows to veto 20-week abortion ban bill

(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is promising to veto legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying such a proposal hurts the state’s image.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wants to send a clear message to the Republican-controlled General Assembly not to “waste time” with “socially divisive bills,” such as the 20-week abortion ban.

The legislation was prefilled by a Republican delegate, and the General Assembly’s 2017 legislative session starts next week.

Similar legislation was signed into law in Ohio last month.

The Virginia legislation is part of a broad offensive by abortion-rights opponents, who are emboldened by the election success of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. In Congress, Republicans are expected to advance legislation banning most abortions after 20 weeks.

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