PASSAGE OF BILL MANDATING UNNECESSARY ULTRASOUND
Richmond – Despite wisely tabling the controversial "personhood" bill last week, Senate Republicans nonetheless continued the General Assembly's session-long fixation on divisive social issues and restricting women's health by passing HB462 this afternoon on a 21 to 19 vote. The bill, sponsored in the House by Del. Kathy Byron (R-Bedford), originally required women to undergo a physically intrusive transvaginal ultrasound but was amended after national public outcry. It now goes back to the House for final approval.
"This is a significant blow for Virginia women, who have a constitutional right to control their own bodies and their own reproductive decisions," said Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria). "I am deeply saddened that Republicans in Richmond did not listen to the tens of thousands of concerned voices across the Commonwealth who wanted government out of their bedrooms and physician's offices. Massive protests and national media attention apparently still preclude the Virginia GOP from doing what is right."
"In passing this legislation, the majority party has refused to acknowledge what I and others on the House floor have been saying for weeks: Forcing women to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure of any kind is simply unacceptable," remarked Del. Kaye Kory (D-Fairfax). "It is shameful that our clear and loud voices were ignored."
"It is unfortunate that the majority voting in favor of this intrusive legislation did not listen to growing public opinion," said Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax). "Instead of what some may call informed consent, this is a case of meddling that will only serve to demean women and subject them to a costly and possibly useless and unnecessary medical procedure. The government should not interfere with medical decisions that should only be made between a woman, her family, and her doctor."
"House Republicans are for big government in the bedroom, but no government in the board room," remarked Del. Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax). "The hypocrisy is stunning."
Gov. McDonnell has indicated support for the ultrasound bills, and directed the drafting of the accepted amendments. The Senate companion bill was stricken by its sponsor, Sen. Jill Vogel (R-Fauquier), from the calendar Friday on a 31-2 vote.