Virginia governor vows to veto 20-week abortion ban bill

FILE - In this July 26, 2016 file photo, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe waves on stage at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is promising to veto legislation banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, saying such a proposal hurts the state’s image.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he wants to send a clear message to the Republican-controlled General Assembly not to “waste time” with “socially divisive bills,” such as the 20-week abortion ban.

The legislation was prefilled by a Republican delegate, and the General Assembly’s 2017 legislative session starts next week.

Similar legislation was signed into law in Ohio last month.

The Virginia legislation is part of a broad offensive by abortion-rights opponents, who are emboldened by the election success of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. In Congress, Republicans are expected to advance legislation banning most abortions after 20 weeks.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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