Lessons learned as Virginia Ultrasound law goes into effect

By Dave Andrusko

Margaret Doyle is removed by Capitol Police from the General Assembly Building in Richmond , Virginia

Two months ago the hysteria over Virginia’s proposed ultrasound bill reached a crescendo, the irrationality echoing from one end of the country to the other. Wily as serpents, pro-abortionists dubbed the use of an ultrasound probe as “rape by instrument.” A supplicant media lapped it up, even though the Abortion Industry knew full well that transvaginal probes were already standard operating procedure for early abortions in virtually all abortion clinics.

On Sunday, with barely a word, let alone angry mobs, HB 462–Virginia’s “modified” ultrasound law–went into effect. The myths persist, however. The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote, “The original version of the legislation would have required an invasive vaginal ultrasound, but was amended following massive protests to be a noninvasive imaging procedure.”

In fact, the original measure did not spell out which procedure would be used. It merely codified what was already the practice in well over 90% of abortion clinics. (The additional component was that a mother contemplating an abortion could view the ultrasound, if she chose.)

So what is “new” about the “modified” bill? The law requires that an abdominal (external) ultrasound be used. But—and here is the kicker—probably not one abortion clinic that performs early abortions (increasingly using the RU486 chemical abortion technique) will change from a transvaginal probe to an abdominal probe. Why?

The internal probe gives the abortionist a much clearer picture of the baby. Also it eliminates the chance of missing an ectopic pregnancy. And this commonplace technique allows the abortionist to calculate how old the baby is. RU486 is used up through nine weeks; after that its use is dangerous to the mother.

Pro-abortionists, of course, knew that the rhetoric of “rape by instrument” was a lie and cynical even by their standards. Pro-lifers learned their lesson and turned the charge around. In South Carolina, proponents of the ultrasound bill countered that if transvaginal probes are “rape by instrument,” then abortion is “rape by instrument and homicide.”

One additional piece of good news is that the Virginia law provides a list of facilities that will perform ultrasounds at no cost.

“That is very important,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, JD, who directs NRLC’s Department of State Legislation. “One problem for women who are ambivalent is that when they go into an abortion clinic they have to pay for the ultrasound. That can push them in the direction of having the abortion.”

Balch was asked, what is the lesson for pro-lifers?

“There is no level to which abortion advocates won’t sink to keep the truth away from women and the public,” she answered. “It is incumbent on pro-life people to know to how the Abortion Industry work and do our homework so that we can combat arguments our opponents know are deceptive but work well with public.”

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