Home Virginia Politics Gov. McDonnell Takes Us Back to “The Thesis” and “Taliban Bob”

Gov. McDonnell Takes Us Back to “The Thesis” and “Taliban Bob”


The following statement from Progress Virginia sums it up very well: “McDonnell chose to answer the calls of extremists in his own party rather than those of his constituents.” In other words, we’ve gone back to “The Thesis” and “Taliban Bob.” So much for “Bob’s for Jobs” and that whole “moderate” thing, not that most of us here ever bought it for a minute.

Gov. McDonnell ignores Virginians, signs anti-woman bill opposed by majority

Willfully refused to listen to voices of tens of thousands of Virginians

In response to Governor McDonnell this afternoon signing HB 462, which mandates expensive and medically unnecessary ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion, ProgressVA Executive Director Anna Scholl released the following statement:

“The evidence is stacking up that Bob McDonnell is willfully out of touch with Virginia families. Faced with the opposition of 55% of Virginians, 33,000 petition signatures, and thousands of protestors on Capitol Square, McDonnell chose to answer the calls of extremists in his own party rather than those of his constituents. This move makes clear that Bob McDonnell prioritizes his national political aspirations over the well being of Virginia families.”

  • Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Signing HB462

    RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell issued the following statement today after signing HB462.

    “The issue of abortion raises passionate feelings among many Virginians, based on one’s own views on life and liberty.  While debates in the legislature over the decades may seem to indicate there is no common ground to be found on this issue, I believe that areas of agreement can and do exist.  Most agree that a woman’s decision to seek an abortion is difficult, irreversible and life-altering.  Nearly everyone agrees that reducing the number of abortions is a laudable goal.  I believe that we become a more compassionate society when we enact reasonable legislation to protect innocent human life.

    Women have a right to know all the available medical and legal information surrounding the abortion decision before giving legally effective informed consent.  Informed consent is already required prior to an abortion being performed in Virginia, based on the longstanding health care concept that complete information about a medical procedure must be given to a patient before she can freely consent to a procedure.  As difficult as an abortion decision is, the information provided by ultrasounds, along with other information given by the doctor pursuant to current law and prevailing medical practice, can help the mother make a fully informed decision.

    This bill does not legally alter a woman’s ability to make a choice regarding her pregnancy. It does, however, put Virginia in line with 23 other states that have some type of requirement that a woman be offered a view of an ultrasound before an abortion can be performed.

    I previously recommended amendments to the legislature to remove any requirement in this bill for a state mandated internal ultrasound procedure, and the General Assembly agreed that amendments were necessary. I do not believe any woman should be required by the state to undergo such an ultrasound, without her consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure. The bill I signed today ensures that will not occur.

    As I have for 21 years as a public servant, I consider it important to embrace a culture of life in our Commonwealth, and to protect the life and liberty of all of our citizens.  While we sometimes reach different policy conclusions in our great, free nation, let us continue to work together with respect and civility for the common good.”

  • Senator McEachin Expresses Dismay and Disappointment that Gov. McDonnell Signed the Ultrasound Bill

    RICHMOND – Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) today expressed his profound dismay and disappointment that Governor McDonnell signed House Bill 462, the ultrasound bill, into law today. “I am profoundly disappointed and, frankly, shocked that the Governor would show his blatant disrespect for women and his lack of trust in physicians. I have confidence that women recognize the profound decision they are making when faced with this very personal, serious choice and that they will consult their doctors and get the information they believe they need.

    “Moreover, I don’t believe that the government should insert itself between a doctor and his patient. The governor should not be practicing medicine. Let doctors and their patients determine what medical procedures are necessary,” said Senator McEachin.

  • McDonnell Forces Ultrasounds upon Virginia Women Before Abortions

    Governor signs HB 462 amid firestorm of controversy

    Depsite more than 33,000 petition signatures, four massive protests outside the Capitol, and a barrage of critical national media attention, Governor Bob McDonnell signed HB 462 into law today. HB 462 is a measure that will force Virginia women to undergo an unnecessary and costly ultrasound 24 hours before having an abortion.

    “The bill is an unprecedented invasion of privacy and government intrusion into the doctors’ offices and living rooms of Virginia women,” said Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. She continued, “Governor McDonnell’s unwillingness to listen to the thousands of women across the Commonwealth who are outraged by this political overreach into their lives shows nothing more than arrogance.”

    “No one should be forced by Bob McDonnell or the government to undergo a medical procedure against their will. Women should have the option of having an ultrasound, not forced to undergo a completely unnecessary procedure prescribed by politicians instead of doctors,” said Keene.

    “Governor McDonnell has ignored the will of the people,” stated Keene. “Instead of listening to thousands of concerned and reasonable women, he has responded by having them arrested and silenced. Virginia women won’t forget.”


    Richmond, VA – Governor Tim Kaine released the following statement in response to the signing of H.B. 462 that requires women to receive an ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy.

    “I continue to believe this legislation is bad for Virginia’s image, bad for Virginia’s businesses and bad for Virginia’s women. Our country and our Commonwealth face serious challenges that will require us to put aside our differences and find common ground to create jobs, grow our economy, educate our workforce and tackle our deficit. Deviations into the social debates of the past not only distract from those challenges, but they actually hurt our reputation as a world-class place to do business.  As a Senator, I will focus on the issues that matter to families and businesses across Virginia, and I urge legislators at all levels to do the same as we move forward.”


    Richmond – Two days after remarking that his legal team was reviewing the legislation, Gov. Bob McDonnell signed HB462 into law this afternoon.  The bill, introduced by Del. Kathy Byron (R-Bedford), was the subject of national outcry for initially requiring women to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound prior to terminating a pregnancy.

    “Gov. McDonnell said just this week that he wanted this session to be remembered for a focus on jobs, not divisive social issues,” remarked House Democratic Leader David Toscano (D-Charlottesville).  “Signing HB462 into law once again focuses attention on what has become the theme of this session – legislative overreach on issues that most Virginians find to be too conservative to be embraced by our citizens.”

    “This is a very sad day for Virginia women and their families,” stated Del. Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax).  “With the signature of HB462 by Gov. McDonnell, Virginia joins a very small list of states that mandate an expensive and at times unnecessary ultrasound procedure along with a waiting period for a woman exercising her right under the law.  Public opinion was clearly against this legislation, and I am disappointed that the voices of so many were not heard today.”

    “Virginians don’t want this bill, didn’t ask for it, and are strongly opposed to this most personal kind of government intrusion,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Mark Sickles (D-Franconia). “The Governor’s political ambition and career-long disregard for a woman’s personal freedom are conveniently coinciding with his campaign to be Mitt Romney’s running mate.”

    “By signing HB462, the Governor claims we will be giving valuable information to women in order for them to make a fully informed decision,” said Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond). “Yet he ignores the fact that a transabdominal ultrasound performed during the early weeks of pregnancy – when 90% of abortions are performed – shows absolutely nothing. With this decision, Gov. McDonnell is putting politics before medicine.”

    “Gov. McDonnell believes that federal health care reform is ‘big government’ and that airport pat-downs are too invasive,” remarked Del. Kaye Kory (D-Fairfax). “I can’t think of a single bill passed this session that is more intrusive and contains more government meddling into private, personal decisions than a requirement to get an unnecessary medical procedure solely to satisfy a rigid social agenda.”

    “Today as he signed this extreme legislation into law, Gov. McDonnell – who preaches the value of small government and implores his fellow Republicans to not be arrogant or overreach – stuns me,” remarked Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria).  “This is a sad day for Virginia.  Our women and men spoke loud and clear against government trespass into our bodies and physician’s offices.  Now the Virginia Republicans’ extreme agenda is exposed for all to see – political ambition put before sound policy.”

    After being amended by the Governor to remove transvaginal ultrasounds as a mandatory procedure and by the Senate to exclude victims of rape and incest who file a police report, the bill passed the Senate 21-19 and the House of Delegates 61-35.

  • Virginia Senate Democrats Condemn Gov. McDonnell’s Signing of Mandatory Ultrasound Bill

    Despite national ridicule, McDonnell continues to advance Virginia Republicans’ extreme, divisive agenda

    Today, Governor Bob McDonnell Republicans voted for HB 462, which mandates an unnecessary and costly ultrasound before abortions. Virginia Republicans continue their relentless assault on women’s rights. In just six weeks, Virginia Republicans have turned the “best managed state” into a national laughingstock. Republican Senators just cannot let go of their divisive social agenda that is taking Virginia backwards.

    Senator Janet Howell (D-Fairfax), whose amendment to also mandate rectal exams for men seeking erectile dysfunction medication first drew national attention to this issue, said, “Governor McDonnell is putting his own personal beliefs before Virginia women and is making them go through an unnecessary, costly and intentionally traumatizing medical procedure.”

    Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) said, “This is a sad day for women’s equality. Today, Virginia joins the most restrictive states in the nation with respect to access to reproductive healthcare services. I fear women will seek back-ally, unsafe abortions because the long arm of the State is now between a woman and her doctor.”

    Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) said, “It is so sad that Bob McDonnell cares more about pandering to his extreme conservative political base than the rights of women. Governor McDonnell has joined the national crusade against women and is sacrificing the rights of women across Virginia.”

    Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton) said, “This has not been a banner year for women in Virginia. With the signing of this bill, Governor McDonnell has let the women of Virginia know how little he feels about their rights.”

    Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) said, “I am profoundly disappointed and, frankly, shocked that the Governor would show his blatant disrespect for women and his lack of trust in physicians. I have confidence that women recognize the profound decision they are making when faced with this very personal, serious choice and that they will consult their doctors and get the information they believe they need.”

    Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said, “This is only the second time in history Virginia has mandated a medical procedure. This law will now stand beside legislation that was passed to forcibly sterilize the severely mentally disabled.”

    Senator John S. Edwards (D-Roanoke City) said, “There is no need for the Commonwealth to mandate a costly and unnecessary medical procedure. This legislation is an example of the extreme social agenda being pursued by the Governor and the Republicans in the General Assembly.”

  • McDonnell sends a clear message to Virginia women and the world

    RICHMOND, VA — Today, Governor McDonnell ignored the cries of thousands of Virginians calling for veto and signed the controversial “Ultrasound” bill, HB 462, into law.

    “By signing this dreadful legislation, Bob McDonnell sent a clear message to any Virginians who still had a glimmer of hope left that their Governor could rise above the radical fringe of his own party and do the right thing,” said DPVA Executive Director David Mills.

    “This new law will not create a single job, it won’t put one teacher in a crowded classroom, and it won’t take a single car off the road. It will however force the government into private decisions that a woman makes with her doctor and send a message to the world that this Commonwealth is more concerned with cracking down on women’s constitutional rights than building an environment where people, families and potential job creators can locate and thrive.

    “This is nothing short of an embarrassment for Virginia and we have no one to thank but Governor McDonnell and his radical Republican caucuses.”


    ~ McDonnell Continues Disturbing Trend of Republican Overreach ~

    RICHMOND – Yesterday, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell signed into law legislation to mandate that doctors in the Commonwealth force women to submit to an ultrasound before being allowed to exercise their right to an abortion.  “This is a sad day for women, and for the independent practice of medicine in our state,” said Senator Ralph S. Northam (D – Norfolk), a pediatric neurologist and the only doctor in the Virginia Senate. “I am personally embarrassed and extremely disappointed in our Governor’s refusal to exercise common sense.”

    In a letter to McDonnell two weeks ago, Northam criticized the Governor’s continued support for the ultrasound mandate legislation, one of many extreme measures pushed by McDonnell and his radical socially conservative allies in the General Assembly. “I wrote the Governor a very sincere note, and haven’t received as much as an acknowledgment, nevermind a response,” added Northam.  “The bill has made our Commonwealth an object of ridicule in the national media, and Virginians expect better leadership.  From an administration that touts smaller government and less regulation, such an unnecessary and costly unfunded mandate which assaults the patient-doctor relationship is hypocrisy in its worst and most insulting form.”

    In the letter, Northam urged McDonnell to shift his position and oppose the bill, saying that “elected officials need to concentrate on addressing our crumbling roads, underfunded schools, and high unemployment rate, and let doctors handle the immediate health care needs of their patients.  What you are doing is mandating that doctors perform a completely useless test, a requirement that is far more invasive of personal liberty than the individual health insurance mandate you so adamantly oppose.”