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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

Updated 56 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Bipartisan tributes flood in for "giant of the Senate" Bob Dole

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and former Sen. Bob Dole at an event put on by the World Food Program where he was awarded the first “McGovern-Dole Leadership Award” in December 2013. Photo: Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

Republican and Democratic politicians, including former Senate colleagues, are sharing condolences and memories commemorating the life of Bob Dole, who passed away at 98 on Sunday morning.

The big picture: Dole, the Republican presidential nominee in 1996, was the longest serving Republican leader in the Senate until 2018, when current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell surpassed his record.