Here's lowkell at Blue Virginia:
SB 617, patroned by Senator Mamie Locke (D-Hampton), would repeal the mandatory ultrasound requirement that Republicans passed in 2012. Under that law, women seeking an abortion must submit to an abdominal ultrasound—regardless of their wishes, and regardless of the wishes of their doctors. The bill reported 9-5, with one Republican abstaining.Julian Walker at the Virginian Pilot points out the barriers to getting these bills onto the desk of Gov. Terry McAuliffe:
SB 618, patroned by Sen. Locke and Sen. Donald McEachin (D-Henrico) and co-patroned by Sen. Barbara Favola (D-Arlington), would enable Virginia women to buy insurance that covers abortion on Virginia's health exchange, provided that the coverage is paid for with their own money and not with public funds. The bill reported 9-6.
Said Sen. Locke, "Over the last few years, we've seen exactly what Republicans' regressive policies mean for Virginia women. The government shouldn't force people to undergo needless medical procedures, and it shouldn't limit access to perfectly legal insurance coverage. Today, we passed two common-sense bills that begin to repair the harm Republicans have done to women's health care."
Indeed, a House subcommittee one day earlier defeated a bill to repeal the ultrasound mandate passed two years ago amid fiery debate, raucous protests, and national media attention on a bill to make women get a vaginal ultrasound prior to an abortion.So no legislative victory this round. But at least a smidgen of sanity has made an appearance. Elections have consequences.