UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 3:30 p.m.
Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) shifted his support on Wednesday of the ultrasound bill before the General Assembly that would require women to undergo a mandatory ultrasound before getting an abortion.
In a press release issued Wednesday, McDonnell reaffirmed his pro-life stance and belief that government has a duty to protect human life, but noted that after meeting with other governors, physicians, attorneys, legislators, advocacy groups and citizens he sees no need for an invasive mandate.
Original story: Tuesday, Feb. 21
The Virginia House of Delegates delayed final voting again on Tuesday on the Senate-passed version of a bill that would require women to undergo a mandatory ultrasound before getting an abortion. The bill, which is expected to pass the Republican-controlled chamber, would then be sent to Gov. Bob McDonnell's desk to be signed into law.
Critics of the bill say such legislation would be too invasive and may require a 'transvaginal' probe if the pregnancy is in its early stages. There are two identical versions of the bill, one in each chamber.
The ultrasound bills and Manassas Sen. Bob Marshall's personhood bill, which states that life begins at conception, grabbed headlines across the country for each clearing one of Virginia's chambers.
Capping off the week of national attention, Saturday Night Live's Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers jabbed the Virginia legislature during a segment of Weekend Update. (Click here for the full video segment. Warning: some readers may find the content of the video offensive.)
Tuesday night, Jon Stewart slammed the bills and Gov. Bob McDonnell on Comedy Central's The Daily Show. That segment can be watched here, but as an additional warning, some readers may find the content of the video offensive.
Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester) is sponsoring one of the ultrasound bills.
"It is not invasive," Vogel told the Washington Post earlier this month. "It does not attempt to infringe in any way on the doctor-patient relationship, and it absolutely does not infringe on her right to have an abortion."
Vogel's office didn't return a call for a response to the recent national attention on her bill.
Woodbridge Patch editor Lauren Jost contributed to this report.
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