Virginia Republicans Block Repeal of State's Mandatory Ultrasound Law

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The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From Huff Post:

A Republican-controlled committee in the Virginia State Senate voted 8-7 on Thursday to block Democrats' efforts to repeal a new mandatory ultrasound law and a set of regulations that could shut down many abortion clinics in the state. The committee also voted down a new anti-abortion bill that would have prevented Medicaid from paying for low-income women's abortions in cases where there is a severe fetal anomaly.

Virginia Republicans attracted national criticism in early 2012 when they proposed a bill requiring women to undergo invasive, medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasound procedures before having an abortion. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) later helped Republicans revise the bill to require only external, "jelly-on-the-belly" procedures, and he signed that version into law.

State Sen. Ralph Northam (D), the only physician in the senate, proposed a bill that would repeal the mandatory ultrasound law because he says it violates the privacy and sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship. "I am giving you the opportunity to right the wrong committed last year," he told committee members on Thursday.

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