Opening Battles in Virginia Senate Committee Yield Important Victories, Significant Loss

By Dave Andrusko

VirginiaStateCapitolYesterday’s  contentious debate in the Virginia Senate Education and Health Committee is a reminder that pro-life legislators are committed to protecting pro-life/women helping legislation and to signal the state’s unwillingness to fund abortions of children with disabilities.

No single debate in 2012 was louder—or more distorted—than a proposal in the Commonwealth to require an ultrasound prior to a woman having an abortion and be given the opportunity to look at her baby. By the time pro-abortionists were through, the law was distorted beyond recognition. Fortunately, the law, as amended, passed.

That victory was sustained Thursday on a straight 8-7 party line vote in the Senate Education and Health Committee. Coverage in the Washington Post unintentionally illuminated the bizarre and two-faced argument pro-abortionists made, and continue to shamelessly make.

It is standard procedure when abortionist are using chemical abortifacients (RU486) to abort a child early in pregnancy to use a transvaginal probe because (as the Post wrote) “the fetus is so small that the external ultrasound does not yield a good image.” The legislation was merely codifying what over 90% of abortion clinics were already doing!

This is not pro-life speculation. There are medical journal studies and newspaper articles demonstrating “That’s just the medical standard,” as Adrienne Schreiber, an official at Planned Parenthood’s Washington, D.C., regional office, told Commentary magazine. “To confirm the gestational age of the pregnancy, before any procedure is done, you do an ultrasound.” If the woman won’t consent, they won’t abort.

At that point, according to Schreiber, “If the woman is uncomfortable with a transvaginal ultrasound, which is more invasive, she can wait until the fetus is large enough to opt for a transabdominal ultrasound.”

But sensing the opportunity to demagogue, pro-abortionists screamed that requiring what they were already doing was “rape by instrument.” The Post’s Laura Vozzella explains “After an uproar over the invasive nature of the vaginal ultrasound, the 2012 bill was amended to specify that the ultrasound be external.”

Everything’s okay, right. NO! “Doctors [abortionists] routinely call for vaginal ultrasounds before performing abortions, people on both sides of the issue say,” according to Vozzella, and “Now they must also order an external ultrasound to comply with the law.”

They scream when you require what they already do. They scream when you say, okay, use a transabdominal ultrasound instead. Why? Now they need both because they know it would be malpractice not to use a transvaginal probe to date the baby’s age.

Heads pro-abortionists win, tails pro-lifers lose.

The Senate committee also refused to toss out a law that mandates that abortion clinics be treated like outpatient surgical centers, if they provide five or more first-trimester abortions a month. The regulations address such issues as building standards, staff training, sanitation, and equipment standards. The fight over implementing rules is ongoing.

Again, the vote was along party lines: eight Republicans opposing a law to repeal SB 924, seven Democrats in favor.

However with the help of one Republican on the committee, pro-abortion Democrats were able to turn back a proposal to eliminate state taxpayer funding of the abortion of children with disabilities. This came in spite of the words of “Parents who had adopted children with severe disabilities [who] testified in favor of the bill, including one who helped his daughter, born without arms or legs, up to the podium in a wheelchair,” Vozzella reported.

Mary Spaulding Balch, JD, director of NRLC’s Department of State Legislation, told NRL News Today,” For a society which prides itself on welcoming people with disabilities (we cut our curbs, make our public buildings and transportation accessible, pass laws to protect the rights of the disabled), it should be unacceptable to solve ‘disability’ by killing those who have the ‘disability’ before they are born.”

She added, “Surely we can do better.”

If you like, join those who are following me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/daveha. Your feedback is very important to improving National Right to Life News Today. Please send your comments to daveandrusko@gmail.com.