Va. Senate Clears Ultrasound before Abortion Bill

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The Virginia Senate has passed a bill requiring doctors to provide an ultrasound to any woman seeking an abortion.

Patients would be given the opportunity to see the image but would not be required to look. Supporters say the bill offers women the right to information.

Victoria Cobb, president of the Family Foundation of Virginia, applauded the vote.

"We are very pleased that the State Senate has recognized the need to update our existing informed consent practice with the most advanced medical technology available," she said.

State Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk, argued that such decisions are between a patient and her doctor and that is where they should stay.

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, said the last thing doctors need is the government telling them how to practice medicine.

The bill now goes to the House of Delegates where it is expected to pass.

Six other states have passed similar ultrasound laws. Most of those states allow women to decline to view the image.

However, Texas, Oklahoma, and North Carolina require women to at least hear a verbal description of the ultrasound.

Twenty-six states require pre-abortion counseling that goes beyond a basic medical consent.


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