Vogel’s ultrasound bill sparks media firestorm
Women in Virginia considering an abortion won’t be required to undergo an internal ultrasound before having the controversial procedure; this after national media outlets zeroed in on contentious legislation sponsored by state Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-27).
Senate Bill 484, a measure introduced by Vogel that would’ve mandated pregnant women have an ultrasound before proceeding with an abortion, garnered vast attention yesterday as a final vote from the state House of Delegates neared.
Gov. Bob McDonnell, a pro-life Republican, played a key role in the drama. McDonnell said after recently discussing the bill with attorneys, legislators, physicians, advocacy groups and other governors, that he believes “there is no need to direct by statute that further invasive ultrasound procedure be done” beyond an external ultrasound.
Following McDonnell’s direction to amend the bill, the House of Delegates on a 65-32 vote passed a substitute measure that nixed the mandatory transvaginal ultrasound.
Following the vote in the House, the revised bill was sent to the Virginia Senate, where the original version passed Feb. 1 by three votes (21-18).
Sen. Vogel, however, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch she intends to withdraw her legislation, which is titled “Abortion; informed consent” on Virginia’s legislative information system website.
As introduced, the bill required that, “as a component of informed consent to an abortion, to determine gestation age, every pregnant female shall undergo ultrasound imaging and be given an opportunity to view the ultrasound image of her fetus prior to the abortion. The medical professional performing the ultrasound must obtain written certification from the woman that the opportunity was offered and whether the woman availed herself of the opportunity to see the ultrasound image or hear the fetal heartbeat. A copy of the ultrasound and the written certification shall be maintained in the woman’s medical records at the facility where the abortion is to be performed.”
Loudoun County Democrats were quick to release a statement on yesterday’s events. The county’s Democratic Committee Chairman Evan Macbeth said Vogel “needs to stop carrying the water of the most socially regressive members of the Republican party and start standing up for the mothers, sisters and daughters of her District.”
“Her sponsorship of SB 484, which was so tasteless that it offended the sensibilities of the entire nation, demonstrates blatant disregard for Virginians and their values,” Macbeth said.