March 28, 2012 — The Virginia Senate on Monday rejected a budget amendment that would have required the state or private insurers to pay for ultrasounds that a new state law will mandate before abortion care, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
Senate Democrats sought $3 million for the amendment, which would have covered ultrasounds for low-income, uninsured women, as well as women with private insurance policies, according to the Times-Dispatch.
One antiabortion-rights Democrat joined Republicans in the 20-19 vote against the amendment. The Senate went on to approve the $85 billion, two-year budget in a 35-4 vote.
Sen. Ralph Northam (D), a physician and supporter of the amendment, said, "If you have had the conviction and the political will to tell a woman what's in the best interest of her body and her well-being, and tell doctors how to practice medicine, then you should at least have the decency to pay for it."
Sen. Jeff McWaters (R) disagreed, saying, "This is a matter for many of human life, of the sanctity of human life and not about a small, few-million-dollar expenditure for tests that are being discussed on this floor" (Nolan, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/27).