From NARAL Virginia; Virginia Republicans demonstrate once again that they very much ARE engaged in a war on women’s rights. Just remember that in November.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JANUARY 28, 2012
BILL TO MAKE FORCED-ULTRASOUND REQUIREMENT OPTIONAL DEFEATED BY SENATE COMMITTEE
SB 1332 ‘passed by indefinitely’ with no testimony or discussion allowed
Today, the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee voted 6 – 3 to pass by indefinitely SB 1332, Sen. Northam’s bill to make Virginia’s mandatory-ultrasound requirement before abortion optional. SB 1332 was the last of several valiant attempts to repeal Virginia’s intrusive and unnecessary forced-ultrasound law aimed at shaming women, all of which have been defeated by anti-choice lawmakers in the General Assembly. Over 600 NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia activists urged Senators on the committee to vote in support of this and other pro-choice legislation.
Several women’s health and medical experts were also expected to testify in support of the bill but were blocked by Chairman Martin, who prohibited discussion or constituent remarks. In what has become a troubling pattern exemplified by last week’s controversial re-districting bill, Republicans took a vote without all Democratic members of the committee present.
“Today’s vote is an absolute shame,” said Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Not only was this a good compromise bill defeated in the name of partisan politics, but what we saw today is perhaps one of the most blatant examples of Virginia politicians ignoring the people they are supposed to represent. We do not elect politicians to play games with our health or our rights, and we certainly do not elect politicians to hold themselves above the accountability of their constituents.
SB 1332 was a reasonable and rational compromise that, if enacted, would have improved access to healthcare and returned private medical decisions back to patients and doctors. This is not rocket science – medical choices should be left up to women, their families, and their physicians. It is astounding that six senators would continue to put political ideology and back-room maneuvering over women’s health, patients’ rights, and the voices of Virginians.”
Allies in the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition and within the medical community were also blocked in their support of SB 1332. As of 2013, 14 out of 21 states with current ultrasound laws require only that women be given the option to have an ultrasound prior to an abortion.