News Abortion

NOW Protests Virginia Ultrasound Bill With Tubes of Lube

Robin Marty

The Charlottesville branch of the group protested the bill's requirement with nearly 1000 tubes of lube.

Women of Virginia are still angry over the governor’s passage of the mandatory ultrasound bill, and they aren’t going to let him slip away from his decision.

Not even with a whole lot of lubricant.

Via The Daily Progress:

NOW President Kobby Hoffman helped seal a box containing 864 packages of Surgilube to Gov. Bob McDonnell, which was mailed to his office after the demonstration.

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“This is to remind him of the next 864 women who will be getting the outrageous mandatory ultrasound procedure authorized by his signature to begin July 1,” Hoffman said. She called the demonstration the “Gel the Gov” project.

There’s no word of what the governor will do with that much lube, but he’s never been one to mind his own business.

News Law and Policy

Virginia House Committee Quietly Kills Bill That Would Have Repealed Mandatory Ultrasound Law

Emily Crockett

In a Friday afternoon vote that allowed for neither audience testimony nor a recorded roll-call vote from its members, a Republican-dominated subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates voted against repealing the state's 2012 mandatory ultrasound law.

In a Friday afternoon vote that allowed for neither audience testimony nor a recorded roll-call vote from its members, a Republican-dominated subcommittee in the Virginia House of Delegates voted against repealing the state’s 2012 mandatory ultrasound law.

That law requires all women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound, and is opposed by leading medical organizations because it mandates medically unnecessary procedures that only serve to increase costs for patients.

SB 617, which would have repealed this requirement, barely passed the state senate last week after a confusing series of events featuring accidental votes and a redo ended with the lieutenant governor breaking a tie.

Del. Robert B. Bell (R-Albemarle), chairman of the house’s criminal law subcommittee, said that no audience testimony would be heard on SB 617 because the bill and its house counterpart had been discussed at previous meetings. This was despite the presence of dozens of advocates both for and against the bill, and despite the ultrasound bill not having been presented before all members of the subcommittee, as the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

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The bill’s sponsor, Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), said in a statement that in her ten years as delegate she had never seen a piece of legislation docketed as quickly as SB 617 was.

“It is merely a tactic by the House to have this bill quickly go away and once again say to the women of Virginia that they must undergo an unnecessary medical procedure whether they want to or not,” Locke said.

News Abortion

Virginia Senate Passes Bill Repealing Mandatory Ultrasound Law

Emily Crockett

The bill passed the state senate on a tie-breaking vote from the lieutenant governor, while a bill repealing a ban on insurance coverage for abortion failed.

The Virginia senate narrowly passed a pro-choice bill Tuesday that would repeal the state’s medically unnecessary mandatory ultrasound law.

Women—and men—from across Virginia have been clear: they’re done with politically motivated bills that attack women’s health,” said Cianti Stewart-Reid, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, in a statement. “Those Senators who stood with women today and voted to repeal the medically unnecessary ultrasound requirement have shown they understand the will of Virginia voters.”

The bill, SB 617, initially failed to pass on an 18-22 vote, but was reconsidered and received a 20-20 tie vote. Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam broke the tie in favor of the bill.

Leading medical organizations, including the American Medical Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, oppose mandatory diagnostic tests that are unnecessary and add to the expense of abortion care.

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Another pro-choice bill, SB 618, failed in the senate Tuesday on an 18-22 vote. That bill would have repealed a law that forbids insurance providers on the federal exchanges from covering abortions. The two bills are part of the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition’s “Healthy Women, Healthy Families” agenda, which seeks to proactively protect women’s health and gain back lost ground on that issue.

The ultrasound repeal now moves to the Republican-dominated state house.