Virginia Governor Requests Changes To Ultrasound Law

As was speculated earlier today, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is asking the state legislature to make changes to the proposed ultrasound bill:

The House of Delegates is expected to yield to opposition from Gov. Bob McDonnell and water down a controversial bill that would have required a woman to have an ultrasound before having an abortion.

The bill, SB484 from Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier County, likely will be amended to require only external ultrasounds rather than those that require a woman to have a probe inserted into her vagina.

McDonnell, considered a possible vice presidential candidate, interjected himself into negotiations over the bill as public criticism increased, holding private meetings with both Republicans and Democrats much of Tuesday.

He issued a statement this afternoon shortly before the House began to debate the measure.

“I am requesting that the General Assembly amend this bill to explicitly state that no woman in Virginia will have to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound involuntarily. I am asking the General Assembly to state in this legislation that only a transabdominal, or external, ultrasound will be required to satisfy the requirements to determine gestational age. Should a doctor determine that another form of ultrasound may be necessary to provide the necessary images and information that will be an issue for the doctor and the patient. The government will have no role in that medical decision.

A substitute bill, largely crafted by McDonnell’s staff, was passed out to the House of Delegates about 2:45 p.m. today.

If the bill is amended, it must go back to the Senate, where its fate is uncertain. If the House amendments are rejected by the Senate, then it must go to a conference committee. A final bill would then need approval from both the House and Senate.

At this point, there’s a distinct possibility that the changes requested by the Governor may end up being sufficient reason for the bill to die before the end of the current legislative session, which may be the best of all possible worlds for Republicans in Virginia and around the country.

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Health Care, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
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. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. de stijl says:

    An external ultrasound would still be medically unnecessary. Woman who are going to get an abortion probably have a good idea what’s in their uterus else they wouldn’t be getting an abortion.

    Virginia’s state motto is pretty ironic given this nonsense.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    At this point, there’s a distinct possibility that the changes requested by the Governor may end up being sufficient reason for the bill to die before the end of the current legislative session, which may be the best of all possible worlds for Republicans in Virginia and around the country.

    The over-reach by Republicans on women’s issues this year has been stunning in it’s self-inflicted stupidity. I really wonder how much damage it has done to them among women in general. The other thing, as any married man can tell you, is a woman never forgets.

  3. Janis Gore says:

    Right, Tom.

  4. Peacewood says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: If my wife didn’t forget from time to time, she’d a walked out on me long ago.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    From the point of view of Virginia Republicans the medical rape was a feature not a bug. This will disappoint them, without getting Virginia back into the 21st century.

  6. anjin-san says:

    the medical rape

    There is something very, very creepy lurking behind the comments some of the Republicans in Virginia made on this issue – roughly, “these sluts dared to have sex for pleasure, now we are going to make them lie on a table, stick something else in there and see how they like it.”

    The level of rage that is being directed at women here is pretty sobering. That this is even being discussed seriously is frightening.

  7. Anonne says:

    I think that it is fair to verify the gestational age of the embryo/fetus before performing an abortion. Remember, there are limits on time as to when one can have an abortion. However, there is no need for a transvaginal ultrasound to do that. McDonnell’s compromise should satisfy any sane, to satisfy any legitimate concerns about legality and medical necessity.

  8. Console says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    The overreach is always sort of inevitable. I think it has to do with the way the right and the left talk about abortion in this day and age. It always gets talked about in some moral abstract and common ground gets granted on the idea that abortion is bad. But the crux is that enforcement actually is problematic. It’s not really overreach, it’s just the reality of the pro-life position in america is that it is radical and not traditional. Any sort of enforcement is going to have to deal with the real fact that western culture and institutions haven’t ever been based on the idea of treating a fetus as equivalent to a baby.

  9. Anonne says:

    I guess I couldn’t make myself type “any sane Republican” because there almost aren’t any.

  10. @anjin-san: What’s most notable to me is that it was a young, attractive female who went on Fox and pretty much said just that.

  11. Janis Gore says:

    I swear, I believe some Republicans don’t want women to be trained for combat because then we’ll know how to fire machine guns

    I’m tired of this. I hit the double-nickel the other day, I’m menopausal, and Charles the African Grey makes more sense on a bad day.

    And the good drugs are all illegal.

  12. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I really wonder how much damage it has done to them among women in general.

    An answer to my question.

    Quinnipiac University released new numbers on Wednesday that showed a troubling trend for the former governor ( Romney). In three months, he’d gone from a positive split on favorability with women (33 – 30) to a substantially negative one (30 – 45) in Quinnipiac’s numbers.

    There is a chart there at TPM which shows it even better.

  13. Sam says:

    But I thought they repealed? That’s what http://tothecenter.com/2012/02/virgina-senate-backs-off-ultrasound-bill/ said… D: