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Virginia Senate panel OKs end to state aid for abortions

RICHMOND, Va. — A Virginia Senate committee’s Republican majority has advanced a House bill that would eliminate state funding for abortions for low-income women.

Del. Mark Cole’s legislation heads to a Senate floor vote early next week after an 8-7 Senate Education and Health Committee vote.

It’s part of a major push this year by Republican conservatives, now in total control of the General Assembly, to restrict abortions.

Testimony from supporters and opponents brought some lawmakers and spectators to tears.

Joe Bartling of Oakton brought his six adopted children — all blind and born overseas, and some with other disabilities — into the meeting and told of how some had been left to die because of their afflictions.

Opponent Christie Brooks testified about the pain of having to abort a mortally deformed fetus.