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VA Senate Republicans Reject Efforts to Overturn Mandatory Ultrasound, Onerous Abortion Clinic Regs


The following press release from the Virginia Senate Democratic caucus once again starkly illuminates the extreme, anti-women agenda of Virginia Republicans. Pathetic. 

Republican Senators Successfully Defend Their
Overreaching Social Agenda

Senate Republicans defeat Democrats’ attempt to overturn Virginia’s forced ultrasound law and Governor McDonnell’s abortion clinic regulations

RICHMOND, VA — On a straight party-line vote in the Senate Education and Health Committee, Republican Senators defeated two attempts by Democratic Senators to roll back the Republicans’ extreme, divisive social agenda.

Legislation introduced by Senator Ralph Northam (D-Norfolk) and Senator Barbara Favola (D-Arlington) that would have overturned the mandatory ultrasound law passed last year was defeated 8 to 7.

Dr. Northam, a practicing pediatric neurologist and the only doctor in the Senate, said, “Last year Virginia legislators, mostly men, passed a law that forced a medical procedure on women. Only women and their doctors should make that decision. Richmond legislators with no background in medicine should not make those decisions.”

Prior to the vote on SB 1082, Senator Favola said, “The role of the Commonwealth should be to protect a woman’s right to privacy — not to trample it.”

Senator Mark Herring (D-Loudoun) introduced two bills, SB 1115 and SB 1116 introduced legislation to overturn Governor McDonnell’s onerous and unnecessary abortion clinic regulations, which may force some women’s health clinics to close.

Senator Herring said, “These clinics provide critical low-cost reproductive health care, and losing one of them because of these unnecessary regulations may cost thousands of women access to health care. The legislature was wrong in helping pass these last year, and it’s wrong keeping them this year.” 

  • Virginia Bills to Repeal TRAP and Mandatory Ultrasound Laws Defeated in Senate Committee

    Despite several legal and medical experts testifying in support, eight Republican Senators vote to “pass by indefinitely” on repeal bills

    Richmond – Today, the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee voted to pass by indefinitely on proposed legislation to repeal onerous targeted regulations on abortion providers and repeal current law requiring Virginia physicians to perform mandatory ultrasounds on women seeking abortion, as well as on a bill to codify the definition of birth control. In the same hearing, the Senate committee voted to indefinitely table SB 826, a callous anti-choice attempt to repeal Medicaid funding of abortion for low-income women whose fetuses are diagnosed with severe fetal anomalies.

    “Once again, we see Virginia’s anti-choice lawmakers playing politics with women’s health by rejecting commonsense proposals that expand access to care,” said Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Today, tomorrow, and every day, women in Virginia have to jump through outrageous and unprecedented hoops in order to access what is a safe and common medical procedure, not to mention a constitutional right. This is not political theater – this is real policy that affects real people. The eight Senators who voted against this legislation aren’t paying attention to wants and needs of Virginia women when it comes to reproductive health care.”

    Last year, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia joined thousands of women’s rights activists to protest egregious attacks on reproductive rights. In 2012, women in Virginia helped propel pro-choice President Obama to a second term with an unprecedented 13 point gender gap. The entire Virginia House of Delegates, as well as all statewide offices, are up for election this fall. Keene stated, “Virginia’s lawmakers would have been wise to listen to their constituents on this critical issue. I can assure you Virginians will not forget this come Election Day on November 5, 2013.”