House Dems denounce passage of ultrasound bill
On the final day for House bills to be considered before crossing over to the Senate, Republicans capped their divisive social-issue agenda by passing the physically intrusive HB462. The measure, sponsored by Del. Kathy Byron (R-Bedford), mandates women have an ultrasound performed – which includes the transvaginal procedure that requires a device to be inserted into the vagina – before they can undergo an abortion or medically-induced miscarriage.
“House Republicans have decided to pry even further into the private lives of Virginia women by requiring doctors to offer to perform an invasive medical procedure before they can exercise their constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy,” said Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria). “House Republicans can no longer call themselves the party of ‘small government’ with a straight face after the passage of HB462.”
Showing a further lack of respect for women’s privacy, Del. Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) remarked during floor debate that women making the difficult personal decision to undergo an abortion were engaging in “lifestyle convenience.”
“Yesterday, I offered an amendment that would have protected women from the unwanted vaginal penetration required by this bill, and House Republicans rejected that amendment,” said Del. David Englin (D-Alexandria). “The next time Virginia Republicans speak the words ‘government intrusion’ I hope voters will remember this vote and hold them accountable for their hypocrisy.”
A companion bill, SB484, passed the Senate two weeks ago. Supporters of both measures could not produce evidence in committee of the medical necessity for a pre-abortion ultrasound, nor the need to delay the results by one day or keep the information in the patient’s permanent file.