America

Virginia Senate OKs Abortion Measure Requiring Ultrasounds

Virginia's state Senate this afternoon passed legislation that would "force women to have an ultrasound before having an abortion," the Richmond Times Dispatch reports. The vote was 21-19.

Senators made two changes to the controversial measure that had already been OK'd by the state House:

— "Senators agreed to an amendment under which a victim of rape or incest who reports the attack would not have to undergo an ultrasound to get an abortion," the Times Dispatch says.

— And, the Senate's version of the legislation does not require that a woman undergo a "transvaginal ultrasound," which require doctors to use a probe. Instead, external ultrasounds would be performed.

The legislation now goes back to the state House.

As NPR's Kathy Lohr has reported, "several states are considering laws that would mandate an ultrasound before a woman has an abortion." Virginia's proposal attracted national attention because of the original requirement for the transvaginal ultrasounds, which critics have likened to medical rape. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, pressed legislators to amend the bill to change that requirement.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: