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March for Life 2018. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Women's health care providers are suing the state of Virginia, The Hill reports, arguing that a number of state laws violate a 2016 Supreme Court decision on abortion.

The details: The group is backed by organizations like the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia. State lawmakers argue that the state's provisions are in women's best interest, but the providers say the laws put up unnecessary hurdles for women to get abortions.

2016 Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt

The Supreme Court found that two provisions in a Texas law regarding access to abortion "constituted an undue burden, and [were] therefore unconstitutional," NPR reported.

  • The first provision, which requires that doctors performing abortions have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles. "[B]ecause the complication rate from abortions is so minuscule, most abortion providers cannot meet the minimum number of admittances that hospitals require before granting privileges," NPR's Nina Totenber writes.
  • The second, which requires clinics providing abortions have surgical facilities. Toenber reported that the clinics had to have "elaborate statutory hospital-grade standards ... that do not apply to all other outpatient facilities where other surgical procedures like liposuction and colonoscopies take place."
What's happening in Virginia

The groups suing against Virginia's laws argue that they make abortions harder to obtain, and are therefore unconstitutional.

  • The restrictions require that only physicians can perform abortions, that clinics providing abortions meet "hospital-style building standards," and that second-trimester abortions happen in hospitals, the Washington Post's Laura Vozzella reports.
  • They also target a 2012 law which requires women to have an ultrasound and wait 24 hours before having an abortion, per Vozzella.

What they're saying:

  • The president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, Nancy Northup, told The Hill that they're fighting laws that are "shutting down clinics, delaying care, increasing costs, and piling one burden on top of another in an attempt to regulate the fundamental protections of Roe v. Wade out of existence."
  • Virginia House Republicans argue that these provisions are "medically necessary," and said if state Attorney General Mark Herring chooses to "neglect his duty" to defend them, "the Speaker will consider using his authority to hire counsel to defend the law on behalf of the House of Delegates."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump threatens to veto Defense spending bill over social media shield

Photo: Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted Tuesday a threat to veto a must-pass end-of-year $740 billion bill defense-spending authorization bill unless Congress repeals a federal law that protects social media sites from legal liability.

Why it matters: Trump's attempt to get Congress to end the tech industry protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act is the latest escalation in his war on tech giants over what he and some other Republicans perceive as bias against conservatives.

The walls close in on Trump

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

With Bill Barr's "Et tu, Brute!" interview with AP, President Trump is watching the walls close in on his claims of fraud, hoaxes and conspiracies.

Why it matters: Trump and his legal team continue to claim election fraud. But the Republican governors of Arizona and Georgia have certified their elections, a loyalist like Barr has weighed in, and lower-ranking officials have taken potshots.

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.