Home Virginia Politics Ultrasound bill unconstitutional; VA Dems’ pro-insurance posture hurts the case.

Ultrasound bill unconstitutional; VA Dems’ pro-insurance posture hurts the case.


By Paul Goldman

Let’s cut to the bottom line: The ultrasound bill is unconstitutional and the right lawyers making the right argument can win that case. This is the issue, not whether Democrats in the General Assembly think they can score some kind of “win” by getting McDonnell and the GOP to agree to force insurance companies to pay for it.

Let me get this straight: making the insurance companies pay – nothing is free by the way – makes this unacceptable law better? To the contrary, it might actually help McDonnell/Cuccinelli argument for the court to uphold the law to see how it works!

That’s right: Political games can have a cost folks.

Fact: The law is unconstitutional under Roe v Wade, along with Webster v. Reproductive Health Services and those cases flowing from this seminal effort to undercut Roe piece by piece. Moreover, the ultrasound bill violates Virginia law, as is clear from reading Section 18.2-71-74 in conjunction with federal law.

Democrats need to hire a good constitutional lawyer – not the guys who gave them the wrong advice on redistricting – and tell people the fight has just begun. Claire Guthrie Gastanaga  could win this case easy.  So could Tony Troy or Steve Rosenthal, two ex-AG’s who know Claire. If you asked nice, they might even do it pro bono. Joe Morrissey, if he passed the bar earlier this month (results known in April) could likewise win it easy, as could Don McEachin and Dave Toscano.

The relevant facts are not hard to understand. The ultrasound law mandates a medical procedure prior to any abortion. There has been no showing – because there is none – justifying such a legal provision in order to protect the state’s interest as defined in Roe, Webster, et. al.

NONE.  Read the cases. Read Virginia law.    

Where is the legitimate state interest as so recognized in all those cases? According to this law, the “purpose” is to determine “gestational age.” We are already have an informed consent law.  So why does mandating a new procedure for the alleged purpose of determining “gestational age” serve to protect a legitimate state interest?

It doesn’t. There has been no showing, nor could there be, as to why this mandated ultrasound law in all cases at least 24 hours prior to an abortion is anything more than political ideology masquerading as medicine. Ultrasound is unconstitutional. Democrats need to start getting the legal team in place to get the law overturned.

The issue isn’t whether insurance companies should pay for it. The issue is whether women will be free from government politicians taking an extreme stand for ideological reasons that are hugely expensive in terms of creating disrespect for the law.

In fact, the Democratic effort to make insurance companies pay for the procedure actually might hurt the constitutional argument against it!

Folks, get real.  


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