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Majority Of Virginians Oppose Ultrasound Bill

A new poll from Christopher Newport University’ and the Richmond Times-Dispatch shows that a majority of  Virginians are opposed to the idea of forcing women to get an ultrasound before an abortion as well as a proposed bill that would define life as beginning at fertilization:

Virginia voters, by wide margins, want to retain the state’s landmark one-handgun-a-month law and oppose mandating that a woman receive an ultrasound before having an abortion, according to a new pol

(…)

Another measure that could reach the governor would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion. Of those polled, 55 percent say they oppose the requirement and 36 percent support it. The House and Senate have passed versions of the legislation.

“The governor will await the General Assembly’s final action,” said Tucker Martin, a spokesman for McDonnell. “If the bill passes he will review it, in its final form, at that time.”

(…)

Bobby Coburn, of Midlothian, disagrees with the proposed ultrasound requirement before an abortion and has concerns about the potential impact on some women.

“I don’t think poor women will have the opportunity to even have that done,” he said. “I really think it would push women into places (without) perfect hygiene.”

On another social issue, those surveyed oppose defining life beginning at conception 52-41 percent with 7 percent saying they didn’t know or refusing to answer.

The House of Delegates has passed a measure sponsored by Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, that would impart the rights of “personhood” to a human embryo at the moment of conception. The measure could come before a Senate committee this week.

Well, at least the voters in the Old Dominion haven’t totally lost their minds. Whether the Governor and the Legislature will listen to them is, of course, another question.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Brummagem Joe says:

    There’s a fair chance this gets vetoed, I can’t see McDonnell and the GOP establishment wanting to go into November with this around their neck although as I believe he can’t run again McDonnell doesn’t have a personal interest . But you never know. It’s probably too late anyway since this is clearly going to be a big issue come November.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. WR says:

    Republicans have proved time and again since 2010 that they don’t care what the majority of voters want. They only care what they and their tiny cadre of Tea Party fanatics want. Which is why they’re spending so much time and effort on making sure that no one but their followers is allowed to vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  3. MarkedMan says:

    Even the repubs can’t believe that forcing women to have a probe rammed into their vagina is a winning election issue. Fighting for it and losing, on the other hand, gives them the crazy vote without having to explain it to the rest of the electoratevv

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  4. Tano says:

    It is very hard for me to see how signing the “state-mandated rape” bill would not be the end of the Governors dreams of higher office. He seems to be actively pushing himself for a VP consideration this year, and probably wants in on the 2016 race – so I am guessing he finds a way to veto this thing.

    Unless he is a complete moron, of course….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  5. grumpy realist says:

    As an aside, I still wonder about that 1-gun-a-month law. Are there really people who buy so many?

    (I just have this image of a gun-of-the-month club; January is a flintlock rifle, February is a Glock, March is a Colt,….)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  6. @grumpy realist:

    As an aside, I still wonder about that 1-gun-a-month law. Are there really people who buy so many?

    I don’t think it’s the one gun per month limit per se so much as:

    1) If the government can limit the frequency of purchases, what’s the lower limit? 1 per year? 1 every decade?
    2) The record keeping necessary to enforce the limit, namely a centralized state database of all gun purchases

    The current system is set up so that it’s possible to trace ownership of a specific gun (we found gun #12345 at a crime scene. Who owns it?), but nearly impossible to go the other way (what guns does Joe Doe own?).

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  7. Brummagem Joe says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The current system is set up so that it’s possible to trace ownership of a specific gun (we found gun #12345 at a crime scene. Who owns it?), but nearly impossible to go the other way (what guns does Joe Doe own?).

    Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted? And what criminal doesn’t file off # 12345?

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  8. Tillman says:

    That’s amazing, I have the same combination on my luggage!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Tsar Nicholas says:

    A poll by a university and a newsrag goes against what a GOP legislature just did? Wow, who could have predicted that? Color me shocked. Shocked, I tell you.

    On a serious note, this sort of reminds of what happened here in California after our legislature passed that epic three strikes law. The ink hardly had dried and the likes of the L.A. Times and the S.F. Chronicle began vomiting up putative polling data which said that a majority of Californians were against the law. Oddly enough, however, over the past 15-plus years there have been a number of referendums designed to abrogate that law and lo and behold none of them ever have passed. Go figure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  10. @Brummagem Joe:

    Shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted? And what criminal doesn’t file off # 12345?

    Being able to search the other way would still be useless in that case. The point is to allow law enforcement to engage in the only legitimate use of such records (find out where a particular gun came from) without allowing them to engage in fishing expeditions.

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  11. Nightrider says:

    Perhaps the bigger worry for the Virginia GOP ought to be, what else have they done besides this sex and gun garbage since taking over? If they have done anything else the media in the DC area sure doesn’t seem to be covering it. Anyone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. @Nightrider:

    I can say that they’ve actually done a fairly good job considering the impact of the recession. Back-to-back budget surpluses, transportation projects that are actually moving forward, and an unemployment rate that lower than most of the rest of the country. If McDonnell were able to run for re-election in 2013 (Virginia law stupidly bars a Governor from serving two consecutive terms) I am sure he’d be re-elected in another landslide.

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  13. @Doug Mataconis:

    I can say that they’ve actually done a fairly good job considering the impact of the recession.

    How much of that is the VA GOP’s doing, and how much is the result of Virginia being one of the major beneficiaries of government budgets that have continue to rapidly expand depsite the recession? Particularly when the BRAC process has been concentrating tons of high paying contractor jobs into the Northern Virginia region?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Supposedly the reason Virginia came out with the one gun per month limit was to keep gun-runners from purchases within the state. Does seems to be a pretty good balance between overly harsh limitations (once every five years) and no limitations at all. I just found the concept of a gun-the-month club to be amusing.

    I’m one of those who comes down on the side of registration for guns and all sorts of mandatory training before we let you loose with one. And I’d be far stricter about applying involuntary manslaughter charges to people who end up killing other people accidentally. (The dimwit who was shooting in the air and ended up killing someone at the other end of the trajectory, the even bigger dimwit to brought his gun to church to show it to a potential buyer and ended up killing someone, etc.)

    (I used to live in Upstate New York and we were constantly having problems in hunting season from the urban idiots deciding to play Big He-Man Hunter on the weekends. Absolutely oblivious to how close they were to dwellings, shooting at anything that moved in the underbrush, etc., etc., and so forth. Gaaah.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. @grumpy realist:

    Supposedly the reason Virginia came out with the one gun per month limit was to keep gun-runners from purchases within the state.

    First of all, all dealers are required to report anyone who buy more than two handguns within a five day period to the ATF. Only 22% of crime guns came from such multiple sales. Because most gun runners aren’t dumb enough to buy large amounts of guns under the same name. The buy one at a time through a group of straw purchasers, which would be completely unaffected by this law. As I said, it’s really about establishing a backdoor registration system.

    I’m one of those who comes down on the side of registration for guns and all sorts of mandatory training before we let you loose with one.

    How would registration stop guns from being used in crime? Do you think car registration has prevented the use of cars in crime? And as for safety training, I might be in favor of that if it were actually about safety training instead of, as it invariably ends up being, greating as much unnecessary expense and hassle as possible in order to discourage people from exercising a civil liberty. It’s really no different than all those bullshit laws requiring women to receive counseling before they can get an abortion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. MarkedMan says:

    Can we please stop with the well reasoned nonsense? This is not hypothetical. Ten years ago, when I was living in the DC area, one third of all guns recovered as used in committing a crime were bought in two states: Virginia and Texas. If someone can show that TX and VA have done anything in the last ten years that has affected these statistics then perhaps we can have a rational discussion about the balance of liberty versus safety. Absent that, this is just more NRA BS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  17. matt says:

    @MarkedMan: Yeah Stormy quit usin ur logic and facts and instead rely on ur gut!!1

    Damned elitists and ur facts always wrong..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. MarkedMan says:

    @matt: It has nothing to do with your gut. Stormy is attempting to “reason” the conclusion that VA has a thoughtful and well considered program to prevent criminals from abusing the system. The reality is that VA is one of two go-to states for criminals acquiring guns.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  19. MarkedMan says:

    OK, so it turns out my premise was wrong and VA had done something to reduce their “crime gun shop-a-rama” status: the very one gun a month rule that Stormy Dragon opposes and is about to be repealed. (Almost 20 years ago rather than the 10 I recalled: sucks to grow old) Oh and as for “most gun runners aren’t dumb enough to buy multiple guns” that is true, but as I recall from the Baltimore Sun expose during the wild west years, the preferred method was to give an addict $100 to go in and buy a bunch of guns for you. Problem solved. Now that I think about it, there was one shop in particular that was a huge and outsize supplier of these recovered guns. When they interviewed the owner and questioned him about why gun after gun from his store was used to rob, rape and murder innocent people, he was very quick to trot out the NRA pseudo-logic crap.

    Background from the WP:

    VIRGINIA ONCE held the dubious distinction of being the top supplier of weapons to gunrunners in the Northeast. In 1991, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) concluded that 40 percent of some 1,200 handguns collected from New York crime scenes had come from Virginia. Guns from the commonwealth were also routinely recovered from crime scenes in the District. One reason for the allure of Virginia’s weaponry: a state law that allowed unlimited purchases of handguns.

    That trend reversed after Virginia enacted a one-gun-a-month limit on purchases to address the gunrunning problem in 1993. In 1995, a pro-gun lawmaker gave the Virginia State Crime Commission the task of studying the limit’s impact. The commission found that the law had significantly reduced the number of Virginia guns found at crime scenes beyond its borders. A contemporaneous study by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (now known as the Brady Center) showed that the limit reduced by 66 percent the number of Virginia-bought guns recovered from crimes scenes in the Northeast corridor. The authors of the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, concluded that it “provides evidence that restricting handgun purchases to 1 per month is an effective means of disrupting the illegal interstate transfer of firearms.” Rounding things out, the ATF knocked Virginia off the top of the list of leading exporter of crime guns; Georgia claimed the top spot.

    The law worked, which is why it is unfathomable that the state is on the verge of throwing it out. Both chambers of the legislature approved eliminating the one-gun-a-month limit last week. The only thing standing in the way of the bill becoming law is the signature of Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R), who voted for the limit as a state delegate but has since reversed course.

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  20. anjin-san says:

    Virginia has benefited greatly from the vast increase in the size of the federal government in this century and the flood of money that comes with it.

    Interesting that Doug seems happy to accept the resulting benefits that he gets to enjoy and simply writes it off as good government.

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  21. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: “only 22%”? That’s nearly a quarter of the guns involved. Doesn’t sound small to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1