State Senate votes to repeal required ultrasounds before abortions

The Virginia Senate voted Tuesday to pass a bill to repeal the mandatory ultrasound requirement that Republicans passed in 2012. Senate Democrats provided 19 of the 20 votes which produced a tie, broken by Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.

state-capitol-headerSB 617, patroned by Sen. Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), would repeal themandatory ultrasound requirement that Republicans passed in 2012. Under that law, women seeking an abortion must submit to an abdominal ultrasound — regardless of their wishes, and regardless of the wishes of their doctors.

“Let’s call the ultrasound mandate what it really is: a measure to shame, judge, and delay a woman’s access to the health care she seeks,” said Sen. Locke. “The state should not meddle in what ought to be a personal, private decision between a woman, her family, her faith, and her doctor. I am encouraged that members of the Senate saw the value in repealing this law. This is a great victory for the women of Virginia.”

“I’ve said time and time again that legislators— most of whom are men— have no business getting in between the healthcare decisions that a woman and her doctor make. As a practicing physician, I am hopeful that this mandate will ultimately be repealed,” said Lt. Gov. Northam.

“We need to think about the rights of individuals: of women, men and all of us. Because when one group us has their rights threatened, we all have our rights threatened,” said Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington). “I’m glad my colleagues agreed and voted to protect women’s rights.”

“When an ultrasound is necessary, a doctor knows. There’s no one on the floor, with the exception of the lieutenant governor, who’s qualified to practice medicine,” said Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria). “This bill can be broken down to seven words: let doctors decide how to practice medicine.”

“The question of what is medically necessary should be decided by a physician, not by the General Assembly,” added Sen. John Edwards (D-Roanoke). “Let’s not practice medicine. Let’s not have the hubris or the arrogance to tell physicians what they should do.”


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