3/1/12: VA Senate Passes Ultrasound Bill

Women who want to have an abortion in Virginia will first be required to have an ultrasound under precedent-setting legislation that narrowly passed the Virginia Senate on Tuesday.

Conservative Republicans in the evenly divided chamber, with the help of two pro-life Democrats, dismissed approved the bill on a 21-19 vote.

Senators on both sides of the debate agreed to an amendment under which a victim of rape or incest who reports the attack would not have to undergo an ultrasound to get an abortion. The amendment means the measure must go back to the House of Delegates to see if it agrees to the amendment.

The vote marks a victory for pro-life advocates who had suffered Senate defeats in recent days with the derailing of several abortion-related bills, including one that would have conferred legal rights to the unborn.