Virginia passes toned-down abortion ultrasound bill
Lawmakers in Virginia, faced with a national uproar approved a watered-down version of a hotly contested bill requiring women to undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion.
By a 65-32 vote, the Republican-dominated House of Delegates gave its green light to 11th hour revisions proposed by Governor Bob McDonnell to tame the furor over the so-called "informed consent" legislation.
In its original form, every Virginia woman seeking an abortion would have had to submit to a transvaginal ultrasound, in which a probe is inserted deep into the vagina.
The resulting fetal image would remain in a woman's medical file for seven years, and any doctor who failed to perform an pre-abortion ultrasound would be liable to prosecution and fines.
But under pressure from pro-choice activists, and stinging ridicule from late-night television comics, McDonnell tweaked the bill to make only non-intrusive abdominal ultrasounds mandatory.
A doctor could still recommend a transvaginal ultrasound, and a woman could lawfully refuse to have one.
"It is clear that in the majority of cases, a routine external, transabdominal ultrasound is sufficient to meet the bill's stated purpose, that is, to determine gestational age," he said in a statement.http://news.yahoo.com/virginia-passes-toned-down-abortion-ultrasound-bill-032841555.html