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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Abortion Bill Roils Virginia Politics

Gov. Bob McDonnell gestures as he delivers his State of the Commonwealth address on Jan. 11, 2012. (AP)

Gov. Bob McDonnell gestures as he delivers his State of the Commonwealth address on Jan. 11, 2012. (AP)

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.


  • Anita Kumar, Washington Post Reporter at the State Capital in Richmond

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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