Yesterday Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) signed a bill requiring that women undergo an ultrasound 24 hours prior to having an abortion. The ultrasound bill passed the Virginia General Assembly after Republican Governor Bob McDonnell submitted an amendment to the bill requiring that women undergo an external, transabdominal ultrasound, as opposed to a transvaginal ultrasound, as originally stated in the bill.
Thousands of Virginians gathered at the state Capitol in four separate protests to show their opposition to the bill. In addition, over 33,000 petitions against the ultrasound bill were gathered.
Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, stated, “This bill is an unprecedented invasion of privacy and government intrusion into doctors’ offices and living rooms of Virginia Women. Governor McDonnell’s unwillingness to listen to the thousands of women across the Commonwealth who are outraged by this political overreach into their lives shows nothing more than arrogance. No one should be forced by Bob McDonnell or the government to undergo a medical procedure against their will. Women should have the opportunity of having an ultrasound, not forced to undergo a completely unnecessary procedure prescribed by politicians instead of doctors.”
Although McDonnell initially pledged his unconditional support of the transvaginal ultrasound bill, he revised his position earlier this week, saying that he would need to review the bill before signing it. The Governor claimed that he only recently learned about the invasiveness of a transvaginal ultrasound, which requires a probe being inserted into the vagina.
NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia Statement 3/7/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/23/12