Virginia Will Not Require Invasive Vaginal Ultrasounds

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After an understandable uproar over a mandatory procedure that federal law would consider rape, Virginia legislators have opted to forgo the invasive and most definitely uncomfortable procedure for women seeking abortions. On top of a big invasion of privacy for all women, the legislation could have re-traumatized women who sought abortions because of rapes. A meeting last night led legislators to reconsider the vagina wand provision, reaching a compromise that would make the procedure voluntary, but not mandatory, reports The Washington Post. We're not sure what woman might choose to have an ultrasound used in this way, but, now they get a choice. And with that, the never-ending reproduction debates continue. 

And here's self-proclaimed pro-lifer, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell backing away from the proposal in an official statement released this afternoon. 

It is clear that in the majority of cases, a routine external, transabdominal ultrasound is sufficient to meet the bills stated purpose, that is, to determine gestational age. I have come to understand that the medical practice and standard of care currently guide physicians to use other procedures to find the gestational age of the child, when abdominal ultrasounds cannot do so. Determining gestational age is essential for legal reasons, to know the trimester of the pregnancy in order to comply with the law, and for medical reasons as well.

Thus, having looked at the current proposal, I believe there is no need to direct by statute that further invasive ultrasound procedures be done. Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state. No person should be directed to undergo an invasive procedure by the state, without their consent, as a precondition to another medical procedure. 

Read his full statement here

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.