Closing arguments made in Virginia abortion regulation trial

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A lawyer defending Virginia in a lawsuit challenging four state abortion laws has told a judge the benefits provided by the regulations clearly outweigh any inconveniences they may impose.

During closing arguments Thursday, attorney Emily Scott said the regulations have made abortion clinics safer and have not put an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

The case is one of more than a dozen lawsuits filed around the country seeking to lift restrictions on abortion clinics at a time when some states are passing tough new anti-abortion laws, including Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Ohio and Kentucky.

One of the Virginia laws being challenged is a physician-only regulation that bars nurse practitioners and physician assistants from performing abortions.

The case will be decided by U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, not a jury.

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