RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell signed into law a bill that requires women to have an ultrasound procedure before they can legally have an abortion.
The legislation is an updated version from the bill that drew national criticism a few weeks ago because it would have forced women seeking abortions to undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound procedure if the fetus was too young for an abdominal ultrasound. Lawmakers removed the transvaginal ultrasound requirement from the bill, along with the requirement that victims of rape and incest must also have the ultrasounds.
“Women have a right to know all the available medical and legal information surrounding the abortion decision before giving legally effective informed consent,” McDonnell said in a statement. “Informed consent is already required prior to an abortion being performed in Virginia, based on the longstanding health care concept that complete information about a medical procedure must be given to a patient before she can freely consent to the procedure.”
The governor claims that 23 other states have some type of requirement that a woman be offered a view of an ultrasound before having an abortion.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America slammed McDonnell in a press release, stating that “Governor McDonnell chose to ignore the overwhelming outrage of the citizens of Virginia and the nation, who repudiated these efforts to inject the government into the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship.”
“Governor McDonnell clearly has a political agenda to restrict women’s access to health care, and the ultrasound law is just the latest example of his extreme agenda,” Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said in a statement. “The bottom line is that Governor McDonnell is looking to further his own political ambitions at the risk of hurting women’s health in Virginia. The country has stood up and is taking notice.”
No litigation over the law has been filed yet.