Update: Governor Comes Out Against Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound Provision in Virginia
The "trans-vaginal" ultrasound provision which would have required an invasive procedure for women seeking abortion in Virginia may go the way of the dodo thanks to tremendous pressure from the pro-choice community.
This is only a defensive victory, as the patronizing external sonograms are still required in the state, and abortion rights in Virginia have still been dramatically curtailed in recent months.
Still, the statement from Governor Bob McDonnell opposing the measure is fascinating in that it uses language that sounds fairly pro-choice to me. The key provision:
Thus, having looked at the current proposal, I believe there is no need to direct by statute that further invasive ultrasound procedures be done. Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure.
For this reason, I have recommended to the General Assembly a series of amendments to this bill. I am requesting that the General Assembly amend this bill to explicitly state that no woman in Virginia will have to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound involuntarily. I am asking the General Assembly to state in this legislation that only a transabdominal, or external, ultrasound will be required to satisfy the requirements to determine gestational age. Should a doctor determine that another form of ultrasound may be necessary to provide the necessary images and information that will be an issue for the doctor and the patient. The government will have no role in that medical decision.