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Abortion protesters arrested at Virginia Capitol

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March 3: Protesters are removed from the front steps of the State Capitol in Richmond, Va. (AP)

More than 30 activists have been arrested for refusing to leave the Virginia Capitol steps during a protest of anti-abortion legislation.

Virginia Capitol Police Capt. Raymond Goodloe says 31 protesters were arrested Saturday. The demonstrators were some of an estimated 500 people who had gathered to protest legislation like a bill that passed the General Assembly earlier in the week that requires an ultrasound before an abortion.

The group had a permit to rally at the Bell Tower on Capitol Square, but Goodloe said rallies are not allowed on the Capitol steps.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that police with plastic shields held demonstrators at bay while armed officers arrested protesters, who sat on the steps with locked arms.

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