The Virginia Senate voted to pass a bill yesterday that would repeal a law mandating medically unnecessary ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion.
SB 617 tied with a 20-20 vote based on party lines. The new Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam broke the tie to vote in favor of the bill.
“Women–and men–from across Virginia have been clear: they’re done with politically motivated bills that attack women’s health,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia. “Those Senators who stood with women today and voted to repeal the medically unnecessary ultrasound requirement have shown they understand the will of Virginia voters.” The bill will now be considered by the Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates.
Pro-choice Democrats, including Northam, Governor Terry McAuliffe, Attorney General Mark Herring, and several Senators swept the November state elections, winning with the support of women, especially young, unmarried, minority women.
A second pro-choice bill did not pass the Senate Tuesday, losing with a vote of 18-22. SB 618 would have repealed an existing law that bans providers on the federal insurance exchanges from covering abortions.
Media Resources: Loudoun Times 2/11/14; The Washington Post 2/11/14; RH Reality Check 2/11/14; Virginia’s Legislative Information System 2014 Session; NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia; Feminist Newswire 11/6/13, 12/19/13, 1/22/14, 1/28/14