VA Governor Changes Position on Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) has indicated that he would need to review the bill, which requires that women seeking an abortion undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, before signing it. The Governor claimed to have recently learned about the invasiveness of a transvaginal ultrasound, which requires a probe being inserted into the vagina. Previously, the Governor pledged his unconditional support of the bill.

Tucker Martin, a spokesman for Governor McDonnell stated, “Our position is: If the General Assembly passes this bill the governor will review it, in its final form, at that time.” The House and the Senate have approved separate versions of the bill, although yesterday the House postponed a final vote on the Senate bill. An amendment, introduced by Delegate Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), requiring the women’s consent for the transvaginal ultrasound probe was ruled non germane by the House Speaker. An alternate amendment introduced by Delegate David Englin (D-Alexandria) was then voted down. This means a probe must be inserted into the woman’s vagina with or without her consent if she seeks an abortion. Democrats are currently trying to change the bill to make the ultrasound optional.

Delegate Herring remarked, “There is no doubt that this bill…is fundamentally and seriously flawed. It is time to end the shame that has been brought to Virginia and to this chamber by this extreme bill.”

On Monday, between 1,000 and 1,500 women stood arm-in-arm yesterday at the Virginia state Capitol in Richmond to silently protest this bill, as well as a personhood amendment, scheduled for votes by the state’s General Assembly.

Washington Post 2/22/12; NBC4 2/22/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/21/12

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