UPDATE: Gov. McDonnell formally asks for controversial bill to not require invasive ultrasound

Gov. McDonnell issued a statement that formally commented on the controversial bill working its way through the General Assembly that would require a transvaginal ultrasound for women who seek an abortion. The governor expressed a wish for the legislation to remove that requirement, which he and others feel is unnecessary.


2/22/12; 4:15pm

8NEWS is reporting that sponsor of SB484, Del. Jill Vogel (R), has said that when the newly amended bill (see below) goes back to the Senate she will strike the bill. Del. Vogel may then reintroduce a new version of the bill.

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Governor Bob McDonnell issued a formal statement today asking that SB484, a bill under consideration in the General Assembly which would require women to undergo a vaginal ultrasound before having an abortion, no longer carry with it that specific requirement.

“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,” said McDonnell in his statement. “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.”

The statement comes after national discussion and scrutiny among political pundits and even late-night comedy shows, who criticized the Virginia legislature for a bill that required a transvaginal ultrasound–one that many thought of as unnecessary and invasive.

In his statement, Gov. McDonnell added that “Over the past days I have discussed the specific language of the proposed legislation with other governors, physicians, attorneys, legislators, advocacy groups, and citizens. It is apparent that several amendments to the proposed legislation are needed to address various medical and legal issues which have arisen.”

Affirming his “pro-life” view, McDonnell said that he believed in “the sanctity of innocent human life” and also in the belief that “governments have a duty to protect human life.” However, the governor was also clear in stating he felt the vaginal ultrasound was unnecessary and not a requirement that the legislature should make. “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.”


photo of Bob McDonnell speaking at the 2012 CPAC convention by markn3tel

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Nathan Cushing

Nathan Cushing is a writer, journalist, and RVANews Editor.

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