A controversial abortion-related bill requiring a woman to view the images from an ultrasound before consenting to a pregnancy termination has been signed by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, and will go into effect in the state on July 1st.
McDonnell restated his support for the bill Wednesday, but critics have vocally opposed the measure and debate over the practice has been rife on a national level as more states consider adopting the measure. McDonnell said Wednesday that mandated ultrasounds will “can help the mother make a fully informed decision” as to whether to have an abortion.
Critics of the bill, however, cite unnecessary cost, invasion of privacy and overzealous government intervention in implementation of the bill, but McDonnell said in a statement yesterday that the measure doesn’t interfere with a woman’s right to choose an abortion. He explains:
“This bill does not legally alter a woman’s ability to make a choice regarding her pregnancy. It does, however, put Virginia in line with 23 other states that have some type of requirement that a woman be offered a view of an ultrasound before an abortion can be performed.”
“I believe that we become a more compassionate society when we enact reasonable legislation to protect innocent human life.”
Former Virginia governor Tim Kaine blasted the bill in a statement, saying mandated ultrasounds are a distraction from issues that affect Virginians every day, as well as a poor reflection on the state’s priorities:
“I continue to believe this legislation is bad for Virginia’s image, bad for Virginia’s businesses and bad for Virginia’s women… Deviations into the social debates of the past not only distract from those challenges, but they actually hurt our reputation as a world-class place to do business.”
Kaine said lawmakers should shift focus to initiatives that “create jobs, grow our economy, educate our workforce and tackle our deficit.”