Jeniffer Wexton, headshot
Virginia state Senate wins like Jennifer Wexton's made this vote possible.
Elections have consequences—but you have to win enough elections to pass legislation all the way through. That's the lesson in Virginia, where Democrats recently took control of the state Senate, but Republicans still control the state House. That means results like this:
The Virginia State Senate narrowly passed a bill on Tuesday that would repeal a state law requiring pregnant women to have ultrasounds before getting abortions.

The Senate, which recently flipped to Democratic control, split exactly down the middle on the ultrasound repeal, with 20 votes for and against it. Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is a physician, cast the tie-breaking vote in favor of the repeal. [...]

Tuesday's vote was largely symbolic, because the repeal bill is not likely to pass in Virginia's Republican-controlled House of Delegates. That body's Constitutional Law Subcommittee killed a similar ultrasound repeal bill last week on a 6-2 party-line vote.

Having one legislative chamber repeal such an offensive law, and a governor who would sign the repeal if it reached him, is a major moral victory. It's a victory that may create enough pressure on the House of Delegates to dial down the crazy a little. It's a victory that will prevent the next mandatory ultrasound-equivalent law from being passed. But as long as the House of Delegates stands in the way, it's not the kind of victory that stops women from being forced to have medically unnecessary ultrasounds right now. It makes the task brutally clear: here is where and why Democrats need to win more elections.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 06:25 AM PST.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and Daily Kos.

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