Speak Out: Watered-Down Ultrasound Bill Passes House

Gov. Bob McDonnell retreats from past statements, says mandating invasive procedure "is not a proper role for the state." Tell us: Is the amended bill better?

Republican lawmakers and the governor backed down from supporting a bill Wednesday that may have required women seeking an abortion to undergo an invasive ultrasound.

After previously indicating his support for legislation that called for ultrasounds to determine the gestational age, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said he would not sign a bill that would require women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound if it could not be obtained through an external one.

"Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state," McDonnell said in a statement. "No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure."

With the threat of veto, House Republicans submitted amendments that still require ultrasounds before a pregnancy may be terminated, but women may decline a transvaginal procedure. The bill passed 65-32-1.

Earlier in the day, the bill's sponsor, Sen. Jill Vogel (R-27th District) said she will likely move to strike her own bill in the Senate.

"There are moments when you are a legislator when you have to stop and you have to have a moment of real conscience," Vogel said, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch article Wednesday. "I sort of had that moment this morning considering the outcome and the fate of this bill."

All changes can be seen here.

The bill drew criticism from several Democrats, who said the bill was one of many this session that focused on social issues instead of bigger state needs. It's was also the subject of an SNL skit on Saturday; on Tuesday, it was part of a segment on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Do you think the bill as amended is better than previous versions or is it still a violation of womens' rights? Speak Out In The Comments.

daniellekha February 27, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Actually Kim, I have a friend on Facebook who clearly does not like my pro-life stance so he was more than happy to post a link to "educate" me for the group NNAF which was having a bowl-a-thon to raise money to provide abortions. If that isn't the definition of pro-abortionist, I don't know what is.....
Carol Lewis February 27, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I never said abortion didn't leave scars, but I think that women outside the womb are human beings too. I disagree with your definition of when life begins and I think we'll just have to agree to disagree. But I think it is cruel to force a woman to bear her rapist's child. We might agree that better education on birth control is necessary, of both MEN and women.
Dave Phelps February 27, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Thank you Danielle, for your defense of the defenseless. I would only add, to the never ending pablum about sex ed, that decades ago, when to get a condom you had to ask the pharmacist and sex ed was substantially a class on biology, the illegitimacy rate was a fraction of what it is today. The constant refrain is that we need more sex ed, but with more sex ed comes more babies born out of wedlock and of course, many many more abortions, not to mention STDs. Who actually believes that 16, 17 year olds or younger, don't know about the "birds and the bees?" We did, ages ago before it was blatant prime time "sex ed" on the TV. Clearly there are lots of cultural issues we are dealing with here, like glorifying Hollywood women having children and not marrying the fathers, etc. etc. But to suggest that the cure all is sex ed, well, that has been a failure.
daniellekha February 27, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I totally agree Dave. I think Sex Ed is a joke and a crock. As a parent, I sincerely do not want ANYONE else educating my children about sexual morals other than myself and my husband. I don't mind a science class on human biology that includes the reproductive system but I draw the line there. I think the rise of birth control and wanton sexuality without consequences is the real problem. Regardless, there will always be people who don't follow the rules and don't like the consequences but it makes me so sad to see people disregarding life in such a careless manner. Abortion should never be back-up birth control. Ever. And frankly, if people could realize how hugely important sex is and that is was not meant for pure pleasure alone perhaps the gravity of the act and its consequences would matter more to people. The damage I have seen done to young women in the pursuit of "love" but being used as nothing more than lifesize sex toys is so very sad. They debase themselves and the act when they forget they are worth so much more. And young men need a serious re-education about the value of a woman and the preciousness of her body. And they don't get that when they are told they are really no better than monkeys and are handed condoms and a pat on the head by people who think they aren't capable of restraint or respect....
Carol Lewis February 27, 2012 at 07:02 PM
I'd like to hear your ideas, Daniella and Dave, about how to stop unintended pregnancies. I never suggested sex ed was a cure-all. I'm not being snarky - I'd like to know your ideas, but I'd like you to respect my right to my ideas enough to stop calling them pablum! How do we teach restraint and where? How can we do a better job of it, if it's so bad. What do you suggest? Would you agree that access to birth control for both men and women would help?


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