The Virginia Senate Health and Education Committee has rejected an effort by pro-abortion Senator Ralph Northam, a Democrat, to overturn a law approved last year allowing women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby before an abortion.
Virginia Society for Human Life told LifeNews it is pleased the panel voted six to three to not move forward with the bill this legislative session.
“The ongoing efforts of pro-abortion forces in Virginia, along with their supporters in the General Assembly, to undermine the successful passage of pro-life laws has been a sad result of the debate that started last year. Laws like the ultrasound- informed consent act allow women to obtain vitally need information about their unborn children before making the permanent decision to have an abortion,” Olivia Gans Turner told LifeNews.
Turner added, “The effect of the bills offered by Sen. Northam and others this year would only serve to allow abortionists to deny women access to the correct standard of care when facing an abortion. VSHL will continue to oppose efforts like these to overturn these reasonable laws and seek greater protection for unborn children and their mothers.”
In March 2012, Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law a pro-life bill that allows women in Virginia to see the results of an ultrasound that is routinely performed by abortion facilities prior to an abortion. After the Virginia state Senate approved the bill, the House voted 61-35 for final approval of HB 462 and it moved to McDonnell’s desk.
Abortion advocates in Virginia have come under heavy criticism for equating the ultrasound legislation there would allow women to see before an abortion to rape. Yet, while abortion backers say having an ultrasound is like getting raped, a 2003 study shows 99% of Planned Parenthood abortion facilities do them beforehand.
After McDonnell called for modifications to the bill to ensure that women are not required to get a transvaginal ultrasound, the state House approved its bill on a 65-32 vote. Then the Senate Education and Health Committee vote 8-7 on party lines for House Bill 462, with Sen. Harry B. Blevins, R-Chesapeake casting the deciding vote by proxy.
The Senate voted 21-19 mostly along party lines with two Democrats — Sen. Charles Colgan (Prince William) and Phil Puckett (Russell) voting with Republicans for the bill while Sen. John Watkins (Chesterfield), voted with Democrats against the pro-life measure.
Despite claim that ultrasounds before abortions are not medically necessary or normally done, Alana Goodman of Commentary magazine says Planned Parenthood provides the following on a telephone hotline:
“Patients who have a surgical abortion generally come in for two appointments. At the first visit we do a health assessment, perform all the necessary lab work, and do an ultrasound. This visit generally takes about an hour. At the second visit, the procedure takes place. This visit takes about an hour as well. For out of town patients for whom it would be difficult to make two trips to our office, we’re able to schedule both the initial appointment and the procedure on the same day.
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Medical abortions generally require three visits. At the first visit, we do a health assessment, perform all the necessary lab work, and do an ultrasound. This visit takes about an hour. At the second visit, the physician gives the first pill and directions for taking two more pills at home. The third visit is required during which you will have an exam and another ultrasound.”
Other pro-life advocates note that the abortion drug RU 486 can kill women without the use of an ultrasound to detect an ectopic pregnancy.
Seven states have laws that require an ultrasound for each abortion and require the abortion practitioner to offer the opportunity to view the image: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, Okahoma and Mississippi.