Home Social Issues Virginia Senate Votes to Repeal Mandatory Ultrasounds

Virginia Senate Votes to Repeal Mandatory Ultrasounds


From the Virginia Senate Democratic caucus:

Bill to end mandatory ultrasounds passes


RICHMOND, VA— This afternoon, the Virginia Senate passed a bill to repeal the mandatory ultrasound requirement that Republicans passed in 2012. Senate Democrats provided 19 of the 20 votes which produced a tie, broken by Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.

SB 617, patroned by Senator Mamie Locke (D – Hampton), would repeal themandatory ultrasound requirement that Republicans passed in 2012. Under that law, women seeking an abortion must submit to an abdominal ultrasound — regardless of their wishes, and regardless of the wishes of their doctors.

Let’s call the ultrasound mandate what it really is: a measure to shame, judge, and delay a woman’s access to the health care she seeks,” said Sen. Locke. “The state should not meddle in what ought to be a personal, private decision between a woman, her family, her faith, and her doctor. I am encouraged that members of the Senate saw the value in repealing this law. This is a great victory for the women of Virginia.”

We need to think about the rights of individuals: of women, men and all of us. Because when one group us has their rights threatened, we all have our rights threatened,” said Sen. Favola (D-Arlington). "I'm glad my colleagues agreed and voted to protect women's rights."

When an ultrasound is necessary, a doctor knows. There's no one on the floor, with the exception of the lieutenant governor, who's qualified to practice medicine,” saidSen. Ebbin (D-Alexandria). “This bill can be broken down to seven words: let doctors decide how to practice medicine.”

The question of what is medically necessary should be decided by a physician, not by the General Assembly,” added Sen. Edwards (D-Roanoke). “Let's not practice medicine. Lets not have the hubris or the arrogance to tell physicians what they should do.” 

  • Prior to the legislation n 2012, 99%+ of all abortion clinics in Virginia performed ultrasounds on their own. Planned Parenthood and other clinics around Virginia already were doing ultrasounds (it helps with the pricing of abortions, what type of abortion is needed, among other things).

    The 2012 bill was an update on Virginia’s informed-consent law, and didn’t require a particular kind of ultrasound, but mandated that the “standard medical practice in the community” for an ultrasound be followed. So doctors on site, not the governor or the house of delegates or the legendary exorcist Rick Santorum, would be making the calls about exactly what kind of ultrasound would be best for a particular woman. The law wasn’t meant to do anything but make sure no women fell through the cracks.

    So the progressives couldn’t possibly be lying through their teeth about this now could they?? As John Adams said, sometimes facts really are stubborn things.

    I do find it funny though that Democrats/Progressives excoriated Republicans for ‘legislating on social issues’ and then at the first chance they get, they (Democrats/Progressives) turn around and do EXACTLY the same thing.  

  • totallynext

    Tired of the BS republican lite democrats!

  • The bill NEVER said that at all – ever.


    SB 590 passes on party-line vote

    RICHMOND, VA – This afternoon, the Virginia Senate voted 20-20 to pass a bill that would raise the state minimum wage to $9.25. The vote took place along party lines, with all Democrats supporting and all Republicans opposed. Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam broke the tie.

    The state minimum wage is indexed to the federal minimum, currently $7.25. SB 590, introduced by Senator Dave Marsden (D – Fairfax), would raise the state minimum to $9.25. The change would happen incrementally, with separate $1.00 increases scheduled for both 2014 and 2015.

    “Workers across Virginia need a minimum wage that keeps up with our cost of living. If the Virginia minimum wage had kept up with inflation over the past 40 years, it would be $10.55,” said Sen. Marsden. “We need to catch up. I’ve asked the people who contact me saying, we can’t do this: twenty years from today, when this is worth $2.50 or $3.00 in value, would it still not be time to raise the minimum wage? And the answer is always the same: silence.”

    “I would say that no one here is earning $7.25 per hour. We don’t know what it’s like to be in the shoes of minimum wage earners,” said Sen. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) “The question is, should 123,000 minimum wage-earning Virginians have some hope that their work will not let them fall further behind? All Virginia workers are worth more than $7.25 per hour.”

    “There are two reasons to support this bill. The first is moral. If you go out and talk to people, they’re having a hard time getting a decent job that will give them enough income to support their families,” said Sen. Edwards (D-Roanoke). “The second reason is economic. Put money in people’s hands, and they’ll spend it. Raising the minimum wage is good for the economy, it’s good for business, and it’s good for revenue in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

  • loudoun independent


  • I was proud to cast the tie-breaking vote in the Virginia Senate on the repeal of mandatory ultrasounds. The Virginia Senate passing a repeal of mandatory ultrasounds is a victory for all of us who believe that women, and not politicians in Richmond, should have control over their own healthcare decisions. As much as we should celebrate this victory, we also need to keep fighting. The Republican controlled Virginia House of Delegates has decided that they will not allow the mandatory ultrasound repeal, that we passed today in the Senate, make it to Governor McAuliffe’s desk. Please take immediate action by signing this petition urging Republicans in the Virginia House of Delegates to support women’s rights by repealing the ultrasound mandate.