February 2, 2012 — The Virginia Senate on Wednesday voted 21-18 to approve a bill (SB 484) that would require women to obtain ultrasounds before they can receive abortion care (Kumar, "Virginia Politics," Washington Post, 2/1). The bill is expected to pass the Republican-controlled House in the upcoming weeks, and Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has said he would sign it into law.
The bill was approved largely along party lines, with two Democrats joining Republicans in support of the measure.
The bill would require that a woman seeking abortion care receive an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of the fetus and be given the option to view the image. Abortion providers would have to keep a copy of the image in the patient's file. If a woman does not wish to view the image, she would have to sign a statement -- which would be kept in her file -- saying that she was given the opportunity to do so (Kumar, Washington Post, 2/1).