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Yes, this is the same infuriating bill from last year.
I suppose this is that "new" moderate Republican party I keep reading about. They say it's all the rage, but apparently hasn't made its way into the heart of old Virginny. Instead, we get small government -- small enough to fit into a pregnant woman's vagina!
RICHMOND — Senate Republicans on Thursday thwarted an effort by Democrats to repeal a law to require women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion.
Republicans also rejected legislation that would have rolled back new regulations requiring abortion clinics to meet hospital-style building standards.
Overregulation! Killing small business!
As originally proposed last year, the bill would have required most women to undergo a vaginal ultrasound before an abortion. The legislation had not specifically mandated the type of ultrasound; it required that an ultrasound be performed and that the patient be offered a view of the image. But vaginal ultrasounds are typically used in the early stages of pregnancy, when most abortions are performed, because the fetus is so small that the external ultrasound does not yield a good image.
After an uproar over the invasive nature of the vaginal ultrasound, the 2012 bill was amended to specify that the ultrasound be external.
The change was meant to soften the legislation, but critics complained that as amended, it mandates a test that serves no medical purpose. Doctors routinely call for vaginal ultrasounds before performing abortions, people on both sides of the issue say. Now they must also order an external ultrasound to comply with the law.
Sens. Ralph S. Northam (D-Norfolk) and Barbara A. Favola (D-Arlington) proposed two bills meant to change that situation. One would have would have removed the requirement that a woman undergo a “transabdominal ultrasound” before an abortion. The other would have prohibited the commonwealth from mandating ultrasounds for “nonmedical reasons.”
Both failed in 8 to 7 votes after supporters of the 2012 law, including the Family Foundation of Virginia and representatives of Catholic and Baptist groups, said that the ultrasound helps women make an informed decision about whether to continue their pregnancies.
Because, you know, pregnant women are just so flighty about these things! Hmm. If I have a baby, I won't be able to fit into that new bikini this summer! Thank God the Catholic Church, which has done such a great job with guiding their clergy toward moral purity, has offered their help. And the Baptists? Pretty much the same kind of high moral standards. These are the people I always turn to for spiritual guidance.
The committee also shot down two bills, proposed by Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun), aimed at lifting strict building standards on abortion clinics. The rules, approved by the General Assembly two years ago but still being implemented, will require clinics to meet the same building standards as outpatient surgical centers. They call for costly physical renovations, such as widening hallways and doorways, that some clinic officials said could put them out of business. Antiabortion activists said the regulations will make clinics safer for women.
The committee sided with abortion rights groups on one bill, which would have prohibited Medicaid funds from being used to pay for abortions for women carrying fetuses with severe disabilities. The state paid for abortions in seven of those cases last year, according to Northam, a pediatric neurologist.
Sen. Thomas A. Garrett, Jr. (R-Louisa), said his bill would not prohibit anyone from terminating such a pregnancy, but simply prevent taxpayer money from being used to do so. Parents who had adopted children with severe disabilities testified in favor of the bill, including one who helped his daughter, born without arms or legs, up to the podium in a wheelchair.
“Doctors can be wrong. Children can beat odds,” said Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia.
Remember just a few short days ago, when we heard much outrage about using children for political purposes? Of course you do. And this kind of photo op is exactly why I pay those extremists no mind.