Sen. Northam Introduces Legislation to Repeal Ultrasound Requirement

Sen. Northam Introduces Legislation to Repeal Ultrasound Requirement

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From Sen. Ralph Northam’s office:

Senator Northam Sponsors Legislation to Protect the Reproductive Rights of Women

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 10, 2013  

Richmond-Surrounded by fellow Democratic General Assembly members yesterday, Senator Ralph Northam (D-6th District) announced that he is carrying legislation to repeal a mandate requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion.  The legislation is in response to a bill that was passed by Republicans last year and heavily touted by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.  

“Last year, a group of legislators, most of whom were men, passed legislation requiring women to have this unnecessary and expensive ultrasound prior to an elective procedure.  This must take place even against the woman’s will and against the better judgement of her physician,” stated Senator Northam, who is a pediatric neurologist at the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk.  

Senator Northam is also carrying a bill that will ensure that future legislation cannot be passed to require a woman to receive an ultrasound for non-medical reasons.  

“As a physician, I am guided by the hippocratic oath and understand that that relationship between a doctor and a patient is sacred and essential to high-quality healthcare.  The last thing we need in Richmond is legislators interfering with this relationship and undermining women by eliminating their right to make their own decisions.”  

The second measure will also ensure that a woman cannot be required to receive an ultrasound as a condition of receiving another medical procedure.  If passed, it will be the first in the nation of its kind to protect the relationship between a woman and a doctor in the healthcare decision-making process.