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."
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.