Va. GOP Lawmaker Plans to Renew Social Issues Fight

Monday, 19 Nov 2012 07:39 AM

By Greg McDonald

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A Republican lawmaker is planning a renewed push on controversial social issues next year in Virginia, despite the view of some Republicans that the party needs to cool its rhetoric and not refight issues that many felt resulted in election losses on Nov. 6.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Del. Robert G. Marshall has already filed bills  ahead of the 2013 session beginning in January "that would allow employers to opt out of contraception coverage" in health insurance plans and "make it a felony for doctors to perform sex-selective abortions."
In addition, the newspaper reported Sunday, Marshall also plans to return to the "personhood" legislation defining life as beginning at conception that was shelved last year after protests erupted in Richmond over another measure that passed and was signed into law requiring ultrasounds to be carried out before abortions.
Marshall acknowledged that many of his Republican colleagues may not be up to refighting the social battles  the Times-Dispatch noted put Virginia "front and center in so-called war against women" in this year's election.
But he told the newspaper, "It's going to be up to citizens who are concerned about this to help [Republicans] overcome their hesitancy or their private agreements that they make to duck these issues,” he said.
One Republican leader, Speaker of the Virginia House William J. Howell, admitted that Marshall may be setting his sights a bit too high for next year's sessions when it comes to women's issues.
"I think there’s sort of a feeling that we’ve pretty much done everything that needs to be done,” he said.

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