War on Women’s Reproductive Freedom Continues in Richmond, Washington DC

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    Great job by Virginia State Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), speaking about the despicable HB 462 (“Abortion; informed consent, shall undergo ultrasound imaging.”) specifically, and about the right-wingers’ war on women’s reproductive freedom (and health) more generally, on “The Last Word” hosted by Lawrence O’Donnell. Meanwhile, up I-95 and across the Potomac River in Washington, DC, the dangerous, horrendous Blunt Amendment was barely defeated a few minutes ago.

    As Jim Webb eloquently explained yesterday, this monstrosity would allow “any stakeholder [to] decide to deny health care benefits to any individual, on the very loose definition that to provide such care somehow violates a personal definition of one’s moral convictions.” Fortunately, this bill lost today in the U.S. Senate, but make no mistake: the Republicans’ war on women’s reproductive freedom, women’s health, and healthcare for all Americans, continues. They must be defeated.

    • hereinva

      And all the VA Senators who voted against the bill. Its apparent that commonsense has left the VA General Assembly..over ridden by agenda based politics.

      Virginia regulates clinics, and recently passed more restrictive building code measures. Virginia regulates physicians who are required to pass Virginia medical boards. Now the General Assembly wants to dictate the personal and private decisions made by a physician and patient. Does the GA Assembly have a license to practice medicine? Don’t think so.

      “Dr. Bob”, what happened to jobs? jobs? jobs?..and roads, roads, roads? Its another year of “kick the can down the potholed road”..to score points with the “social conservatives”.  

      Keep fighting the good fight.

    • House Republicans Vote for Mandatory, Costly, Unnecessary Ultrasounds

      Despite national ridicule, House Republicans keep waging an extreme, divisive war on Virginia’s women.

      Virginia Republicans just can’t let go of their extreme social issue agenda, despite weeks of national ridicule. Last week, thousands of protesters asked Republicans to stop the war on women – to no apparent effect. Today, the Republican House of Delegates voted for House Bill 462, which mandates that women have an unnecessary and costly ultrasound prior to having an abortion.

      Almost all abortions in Virginia take place in the first trimester, during which a transabdominal ultrasound generally does not work. Not only are these ultrasounds unnecessary, but also costly. Without insurance coverage, these ultrasounds can cost over $1,200.

      “The Republicans continue their attempt to repeal the 20th century. This is a punitive bill that mandates an unnecessary test that does not work. What they’re doing is just plain wrong,” said Senator Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax).

      Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) said, “As a woman, I am personally offended that Republican legislators don’t trust my judgment on intimate personal decisions about my body and my reproductive health. It is the height of hypocrisy for ‘small government’ Republican legislators to insert the government between me and my doctor.”

      Senator A. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) said, “Virginia Republicans are disrespecting women and should be ashamed of themselves. I’m appalled that some legislators are insisting on putting the government between a woman and her doctor. This ultrasound bill holds the judgment of politicians above the wisdom of untrained physicians.”

    • HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS STATEMENT ON FINAL

      PASSAGE OF BILL MANDATING UNNCESSARY ULTRASOUND

      Richmond – By a vote of 61 to 35 this afternoon, the House of Delegates approved one of the most controversial and invasive abortion laws in the country. Introduced by Del. Kathy Byron (R-Bedford) and amended by both Gov. McDonnell and the Senate after national outcry and ridicule, HB462 will require women to undergo a costly and medically unnecessary ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy.

      “This version of the ultrasound bill has unmasked its true purpose,” said House Democratic Leader David Toscano (D-Charlottesville). “It is neither about women’s health nor safety nor determining the age of a fetus. It is about forcing women to undergo – and physicians to administer – a costly and medically unnecessary procedure that provides little useful information and serves simply to intimidate women, their families, and their doctors.”

      “This is a significant blow for Virginia women, whom legislative Republicans seemingly cannot trust to make their own medical decisions without the General Assembly’s intrusive meddling,” said Del. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond). “The supporters of this measure do not have medical facts or public opinion on their side. Their only goal is to intimidate women and appeal to a narrow, extremist base.”

      “This amended version is even worse than the original bill,” remarked Del. Vivian Watts (D-Fairfax).  “When you have legislators play doctor without doing their duty to examine the full ramifications of a complex issue – or the very different circumstances of each woman’s individual needs – you put the Commonwealth down a dangerous, shameful path.”

      “Gov. McDonnell’s advice to the General Assembly not to be arrogant or overreach clearly fell on deaf ears, including his own,” said Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria), who spoke on the floor several times against the measure. “The Republican Party has been pushing divisive social-issue legislation from day one of this session, all the while avoiding real transportation solutions or fully funding education. Virginia voters are getting a cold, hard look at what happens when Republicans control all levers of government.”

      The amended version of HB462 passed the Senate Tuesday on a narrow 21-19 vote, and now goes to Gov. McDonnell for his signature. He has indicated strong support for the measure and drafted several of the accepted amendments.