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Virginia lawmakers are working behind the scenes today on a controversial bill that would require women to undergo an invasive procedure called a “transvaginal ultra-sound” before having an abortion–even if their doctors protest. Both Houses of the Virginia Assembly have passed a version of the bill. But the measure has drawn a lot of criticism and protest rallies on State Capitol grounds.
Democratic House Delegate Lionel Spruill of Chesapeake told his colleagues yesterday that because the bill requires the insertion of a vaginal probe it “forces a legal rape.” But Republican Delegate Kathy Bryon, one of the sponsors of the legislation, said most women in Virginia seeking abortions already have ultrasounds. Planned Parenthood confirmed that it is a standard procedure for the group, but added that it was up to the doctor and patient to make the final decision.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a rising star in the Republican party, has backed off his earlier, unconditional support of the measure.