VA Senate panel OKs Undoing Abortion Restrictions

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VA Senate VA Senate

A controversial abortion debate is back at the state capitol.

Democrats want to roll back a law requiring physicians to conduct a pre-abortion ultrasound, but Republicans say this is just another political football.

The measure was put into law back in 2012: any woman seeking an abortion must first, by law, undergo a trans-abdominal ultrasound procedure. With a Republican-controlled legislature and executive branch, the bill made it into the state code. Democrats have been vocal opponents of the ultrasound requirement, saying the government is coming between a woman and her doctor.

Now in control of the Senate, a Democrat-controlled Senate committee voted along party lines Thursday to repeal the law. But the bill's patron knows it will almost certainly die in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.

“I am under no delusions and I'm pretty certain that this is going to die in a 6:30 subcommittee meeting in the house. At the very least we've put it on the table that this is unnecessary,” said 2nd District Senator Mamie Locke (D).

Wednesday, a House committee actually voted down several proposals to repeal the law. Many Republicans argue that ultrasounds are often used when seeking to terminate a pregnancy. Opponents say they are medically unnecessary.

It's virtually guaranteed that repealing the pre-abortion ultrasound requirement will not happen this year.

What is certain is that Democrats will continue bringing this issue up, year after year, so this isn't the last we'll see of it.

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