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For the second day in a row, the Virginia House of Delegates has postponed a vote on the controversial legislation that would require women seeking an abortion to have an invasive, trans-vaginal ultrasound. After hundreds of Virginians lined the streets around the capitol in silent protest yesterday, the House postponed the vote until today.

But the controversy over the legislation, and perhaps the fear that they might just be overreaching on this one, led to another postponement.

Some legislators suggested on Tuesday that they may attempt to soften Vogel’s bill. Two legislators -- one a conservative Republican -- speaking on the condition of anonymity, said one idea officials have discussed is making the ultrasound optional rather than mandatory.
Other options are to pass by the bills or park them in committee. Either of those moves would effectively shelve the legislation for the year. [...]

Gov. Bob McDonnell previously has expressed support for the concept embodied in the ultrasound legislation. Because the final product now appears to be in flux, however, a spokesman for the governor Tuesday wouldn’t commit to a position on the bill.

“If the General Assembly passes this bill the governor will review it, in its final form, at that time,” Tucker Martin said.

One of the bill's staunchest supporters, Republican whip Del. Todd C. Gilbert, says his party is still strongly behind the bill, and only delayed it so that it could be considered with a raft of other controversial bills, including "bills to relax the state’s gun laws, allow adoption agencies to discriminate against gays and others and permit homeowners to use deadly force against intruders." Quite the roll they're on in the Virginia legislature.

McDonnell's backing away from the bill could mean that at least one Republican in the state knows how to read a poll. Polling done this week shows that 55 percent of the state's voters are opposed to the bill.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 01:49 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos, Rape and Domestic Violence, Pro Choice, and Abortion.

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