Va. Democrats Offer Proposal To Cover Cost of State-Mandated Ultrasound Before Abortion Care

March 19, 2012 — Virginia Senate Democratic leaders are pushing Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) to support a budget change so that women seeking abortion care do not have to pay out-of-pocket for a mandatory ultrasound under a new state law (HB 462), the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

In a letter to McDonnell on Wednesday, Senate Democratic leaders Donald McEachin and Richard Saslaw urged him to work with lawmakers "to ensure that this financial coverage is part of any final budget." The proposed budget modification would require either insurance companies or the commonwealth to pay for the ultrasound.

The letter states, "Not only does this legislation seriously impinge on a doctor's authority and undermines the doctor-patient relationship, it imposes, through government fiat, an unnecessary financial cost on women."

According to the Times-Dispatch, the cost of an ultrasound can range from $200 to about $1,000.

McDonnell's communications director, Tucker Martin, called the letter "another partisan, petty press release looking to score a few points" (Nolan, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/15).