Virginia Reproductive Health Caucus Outraged Over Attack on Women
Richmond, Virginia— February 28, 2012— After three protests and mockery on late night television, Virginia Republicans led by Governor McDonnell have passed HB 462 mandating an unnecessary ultrasound for women considering exercising their constitutionally protected right to terminate a pregnancy. The amended form of this bill came from the Governor after he came under fire for support of the invasive requirement of a trans-vaginal ultrasound in the original legislation.
Delegate Charniele Herring (D-46), House Democratic Whip and Chair of the Reproductive Health Caucus says, “Tens of thousands of Virginian’s have made their voices heard on this intrusive government mandate that forces a woman to have a medical procedure without her consent. Playing politics with women’s health and women’s rights is abhorrent. Conducting a war on women to move forward an extremist agenda and pacify a far-right base is the reason the conversation about Virginia has moved from talking about being the best place to do business and raise a child to a conversation full of late-night jokes.”
Senator Janet Howell (D-32) said, “Before this bill was amended, there were those who talked about it as ‘state rape.’ And Republicans voted for it. The amended bill goes from state rape to state assault. And Republicans have now voted for state assault on women.”
Senate Caucus Chair Donald McEachin (D-9) says, “The legislature has no right to substitute their judgment for that of Virginia women and their doctors. This vote demonstrates a manifest distrust of Virginia women and those legislators who voted for it should be ashamed.”
“A mandated ultrasound is not considered a medical best practice. When women already have the option of receiving an ultrasound, there is no reason to require government intervention. Let's be clear, if women need ultrasounds, doctors will perform them. There's no need for the legislature to interfere in how doctors practice. A physician and a patient, working together, are the best judges of which procedures are medically necessary,” says Senator Barbara Fravola (D-31).
Senator Favola added, “I’m personally offended as a woman that the state of Virginia doesn’t trust my judgment about making intimate personal decisions about my body and my reproductive health. This is the height of government intervention stomping on my constitutional rights. What will be next?”
Delegate Lionell Spruill, Sr. (D-77) adds, “An attack on women’s rights is an attack on everyone’s rights. Interfering with constitutionally protected rights is the worst kind of partisanship. Let’s leave the medicine and the decisions to the woman and her doctor.”
“Passage of HB462 marks a defining moment in Virginia politics where Republicans ignored the will of the majority of Virginians. Never before have we codified a medically unnecessary, costly, and useless procedure. I pray Governor McDonnell will stand with Virginia women and veto this ill-advised bill,” says Delegate Patrick Hope (D-47).