Abortion ultrasound

Virginia's Senate has approved modified legislation to require an external ultrasound before an abortion.The initial proposal had sought to mandate an internal sonogram, which opponents argued was coercive, medically unnecessary and a state intrusion into a doctor-patient relationship. Supreme Court is declining to revive Oklahoma's strict ultrasound law for women seeking abortions. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, withdrew his initial support for the invasive procedure and pushed for the external sonogram.Today's vote "marked a victory for anti-abortion advocates and the conservative wing of the Republican Party, which has been frustrated in recent days with the scuttling of bills aimed at restricting access, funding and length of time a woman may access abortion services," the Richmond Times-Dispatch writes.

The Republican-sponsored bill passed 21-19, with the help of two anti-abortion Democrats.Under the only amendment approved, victims of rape or incest who report their attacks would be exempt from the ultrasound requirement. The measure required women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound exam and then have the image placed in front of them while the provider described the fetus. Last week, the justices opted to let stand an Oklahoma court decision that struck down a separate law restricting drug-induced abortions.

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