Virginia Senate Passes Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Bill Democrat Janet Howell tried to add rectal rider to bill By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Feb 2, 2012 3:05 AM CST 35 comments Comments The bill requires an ultrasound at least 24 hours before an abortion. (Getty Images) (Newser) – Virginia's Senate has passed a law requiring women to have an ultrasound before they can obtain an abortion in the first of several anti-abortion measures that the state's Republicans—in control of both chambers and the governorship for only the second time since the Civil War—have in the works. The ultrasound exam will determine the age of the fetus. Women who choose not to view the images will be required to sign a statement, reports the Washington Post. The abortion provider will be required to keep a copy of the images in the patient's file. Opponents argued that the measure will invade women's privacy and force them to undergo an unnecessary medical treatment. To protest the ultrasound bill, Democratic state Sen. Janet Howell last week proposed an amendment requiring that men being treated for erectile dysfunction undergo a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test. "We should just have a little gender equity here,” she said. Her amendment was shot down, 21-19.