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Feminist News


January-18-13

VA Senate Committee Rejects TRAP, Mandatory Ultrasound Law Repeal

A Virginia State Senate committee blocked a bill that would have repealed two anti-abortion laws Thursday on a party line vote.

In a vote of 8 - 7, the Senate Health and Education Committee struck down an attempt to repeal a law requiring mandatory ultrasounds before having an abortion as well as a TRAP law that requires clinics to meet the same regulations as hospitals. State Senator Ralph Northam (D) who sponsored the bill to repeal the mandatory ultrasound law, told the committee he was "giving you the opportunity to right the wrong committed last year." State Senator Mark Herring (D), the sponsor of the TRAP law repeal told Huffington Post on Thursday "I think the votes today indicate that Republicans still have an extreme agenda, and they're intent on reducing access to women's health care."

In a press statement Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said "Once again, we see Virginia's anti-choice lawmakers playing politics with women's health by rejecting commonsense proposals that expand access to care... Today, tomorrow, and every day, women in Virginia have to jump through outrageous and unprecedented hoops in order to access what is a safe and common medical procedure, not to mention a constitutional right."

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell certified the new TRAP laws on Friday, December 28th, 2012. The second highest number of anti-choice provisions enacted in a year on record were enacted in 2012. The highest was in 2011, when 93 provisions restricting abortion access were enacted. However, these totals reflect provisions enacted during a calendar year, not legislative session. When considering the 2011-2012 legislative session, 136 anti-choice provisions were enacted.

Media Resources: Huffington Post 1/17/2013; NARAL Pro-choice Virginia 1/17/2013; Feminist Newswire 1/7/2013, 1/2/2013