Va. Democrats push to repeal ultrasound-abortion bill

Posted at 5:24 PM, Feb 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-11 17:34:35-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Democrats used a tie-breaker vote Tuesday to pass a bill that would scrap the state’s controversial ultrasound-abortion law.

The law, which requires women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, was signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell in March of 2012.

SB-617, introduced by Senator Mamie Locke (D – Hampton), would repeal the mandatory ultrasound requirement.

“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.”

The bill passed after Lt. Governor Ralph Northam cast a tie-breaking vote. However, Democrat Sen. Charles Colgan (D- Prince William) said he voted in favor of the repeal by mistake.

Supporters of the ultrasound-abortion law argue that the procedure is medically necessary since it determines if a patient has a viable pregnancy. Furthermore, the procedure does not impact a woman’s ability to make a choice, but simply allows her to view of the ultrasound before the procedure.

“The evidence continues to mount showing that liberals in Richmond are interested only in power and bludgeoning even their own members to deny their conscience,” Family Foundation President Victoria Cobb said. “Clearly, among Senate Democrat leaders, orthodoxy to the abortion industry takes precedent over the consciences even of their own members.”

The Republican-led House of Delegates is expected to kill the bill.