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Judge strikes down physicians-only abortion law

(AP) A federal judge has struck down a Virginia law that says only physicians can perform first-trimester abortions.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson issued his ruling May 6. His opinion could increase access to abortions in the state by allowing more medical providers to perform the procedure, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

Hudson wrote that the law “is unnecessary and provides minimal medical benefits with respect to first trimester abortions.” He added that such regulations present an undue burden to women seeking an abortion.

The lawsuit challenging that law and others was filed by a medical center and reproductive rights groups.

A trial over other state abortion laws is still scheduled for May 20. Those laws include a requirement for ultrasounds and a 24-hour delay for an abortion in some circumstances.

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