Today the Virginia Senate voted for an only-slightly less intrusive ultrasound mandate for women needing abortions.
Debate on the measure was contentious and the vote was close. The measure passed the Republican-controlled Senate 21-19, mostly along party lines. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has said he would sign the measure now that lawmakers took out the part of the bill that mandated the ultrasound be transvaginal.
But don’t think Virginia Republicans are getting soft in their crusade against women’s autonomy. They refused to exempt from the ultrasound requirement women who know their fetus suffers from birth defects and only those women who have reported to authorities that she is the victim of rape or incest. That means that rape or incest survivors who are not actively prosecuting their claims must still get an ultrasound prior to an abortion.
Ultrasound bills continue to wind their way through the states as Republicans show no sign in relenting in their attacks against women’s rights. Today’s vote is a disappointment, but the battle over access to health care for Virginia women is far from over.
Photo from silviadinatale via flickr.
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