Despite the efforts of the Virginia women State senators who led the battle against the 24-hour waiting period law, the bill passed and Virginia Governor James S. Gilmore (R) has promised to sign it into law, making Virginia the nineteenth state with a 24-hour waiting period law. Abortion rights supporters in the Senate have dubbed the bill the “Women Are Stupid” law, pointing out that requiring a woman who has already decided to have an abortion to wait another 24 hours before the procedure undermines the woman’s intelligence and independence and control over her body.
The law not only enforces a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, it creates a $2,500 fine for doctors who break the law. Language in the bill also requires doctors to offer extensive information about alternatives to abortion and would require doctors to offer pictures of gestational development. No other medical procedure requires that doctors provide graphic images of the procedure or the results.