Virginia Waters Down Abortion Ultrasound Bill
Mandatory invasive procedure axed as governor withdraws support
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2012 4:03 AM CST
Updated Feb 23, 2012 5:04 AM CST
Bob McDonnell has decided against requiring mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds before abortions.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Republican lawmakers in Virginia are backing away from voters' vaginas. Amid a national uproar—and mockery from the likes of Jon Stewart—the state House has watered down a controversial pre-abortion ultrasound bill by allowing women to refuse an invasive transvaginal procedure that had been required in an earlier version of the measure. Gov. Bob McDonnell withdrew his support for the bill, and called for a revision just hours before it came to a vote.

House lawmakers decided that only a regular, non-invasive ultrasound should be mandatory, although that procedure does not determine the age of the fetus, opponents noted. The hastily revised bill passed the House by a vote of 65-32, but it must now go back to the state Senate, where it will probably die, notes the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Its sponsor, Republican Sen. Jill Vogel, says she wants to withdraw the bill. She said that after hearing from constituents, including doctors, she did not "feel in good conscience that I want to carry the bill in its current form."