Senate GOP kills bill blocking mandatory ultrasounds

state-capitol2Senate Republicans on Monday defeated Democratic State Sen. Ralph Northam’s bill that would have overturned the costly, mandatory ultrasound requirement passed in 2012 by making the ultrasound optional.

In a meeting of the Senate Education and Health Committee scheduled with less than 17 hours notice, Republican senators voted unanimously to shelve Northam’s bill.

“This hearing was a sham. Today, Republicans mocked the voters who sent them here. Virginians elect legislators to make knowledgeable, informed decisions. Virginia’s women deserve nothing less when lawmakers make important decisions about their health care. But the Republicans aren’t interested in listening; they refused to let me or any witness speak about the bill. This was nothing more than a kangaroo court,” said Northam (D-Eastern Shore).

“Here’s what I saw: choo, choo — railroad!” said Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax). “The Republicans are bent on railroading through an agenda with total disregard for the women of Virginia. Since Sen. Northam is the only physician in the Senate, every legislator should listen when he speaks about women’s health care. It’s obvious Republicans aren’t interested in listening. They scheduled this meeting late last night. They stopped witnesses from testifying. They even stopped Senator Northam from presenting his bill at all. This is another grim day for the Senate of Virginia and for Virginia women.”

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