Posts tagged virginia

Virginia governor no longer fully supports ultrasounds before abortions

Here’s a link to my last post on this subject if you need some background. This latest development looks like another example of a politician bowing to the pressure of the people! It’s not over yet, but it’s heading in the right direction…

Anita Kumar, The Washington Post

RICHMOND — Gov. Robert F. McDonnell is backing off his unconditional support for a bill requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion, focusing new attention on one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in Virginia’s General Assembly this year.

Until this weekend, McDonnell (R) and his aides had said the governor would sign the measure if it made it to his desk. McDonnell, who strongly opposes abortion, will no longer make that commitment.

But delegates and governor’s staff were scheduled to meet Tuesday night to strike a compromise after learning that some ultrasounds could be more invasive than first thought, according to two officials who were aware of the meeting but not authorized to speak about it publicly. Many of the bill’s supporters were apparently unaware of how invasive the procedure could be, one of the officials added.

The Virginia legislation has become part of the broader national debate over reproductive rights and has drawn attention to McDonnell, a rising star in his party and a possible vice presidential contender. The legislation has been the topic of cable news shows, was part of a “Saturday Night Live” sketch and drew protesters to Richmond on Monday.

McDonnell’s office would say Tuesday only that the governor will “review” the bill if it is approved.

“Our position is: If the General Assembly passes this bill the governor will review it, in its final form, at that time,” McDonnell spokesman Tucker Martin said in a statement. He declined to explain the change in approach, but Virginia’s governors can sign, veto or amend legislation.

The House and Senate have approved their versions of the bill. On Tuesday, the House postponed a final vote on the legislation— as well as votes on other measures on guns and adoption — for the second day in a row.

“Something is happening,’’ Jessica Honke, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia, said hopefully. “It’s important for [the governor] to take a long, hard look before he actually does this.”

In recent days, abortion supporters have emphasized that women in the earliest stages of pregnancy may require a probe instead of an external test.

About 1,200 men and women held a silent protest outside the state Capitol on Monday, wearing hand-decorated T-shirts that bore such messages as “Virginia is for lovers, not probes.’’

Opponents of the measure expect to turn over petitions with 25,000 signatures on Wednesday and are planning a second rally on Thursday.

In the past week, the issue has been featured on left-leaning shows, including “The Rachel Maddow Show” and “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton.” And “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” arrived in Richmond on Tuesday to film.

The legislation is being used against Republicans outside of the General Assembly. National and state Democrats have criticized U.S. Senate candidate George Allen for his anti-abortion stand and have derided McDonnell, who has hit the campaign trail for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Republicans at the Capitol, however, remain optimistic that McDonnell will sign the measure.

“The governor is strongly pro-life, and I think he would hold consistent in his support for this bill,” said Del. Ben L. Cline (R-Rockbridge), co-chairman of the Conservative Caucus.

Republicans, in control of the General Assembly since last month, have other abortion-related bills pending during the 60-day legislative session.

Bills ending state subsidies for low-income women to abort fetuses that have serious birth defects and giving rights to a fertilized egg at the moment of conception are working their way through the legislature.

Del. Lionell Spruill Sr. (D-Chesapeake) took to the House floor Tuesday to say: “I’m deeply disappointed in some of you. I can’t believe you would disrespect women in this county, in this state.”

The ultrasound legislation would require women to undergo a test to determine the gestation age of the fetus, hear the heartbeat and be given an opportunity to see the images.

A woman who refuses to look at the ultrasound would have to sign a statement, which along with a print of the image would become part of her medical file.

The bill also would require women who live within 100 miles of their abortion provider to wait at least 24 hours before having the procedure, except in emergencies. Those who live farther would have to wait two hours.

Supporters of the ultrasound measure say it would provide crucial medical information to women seeking abortions; opponents say it would subject women to unnecessary tests and invade their privacy.

It is unclear whether insurance companies would cover the procedure.

Democrats hope to alter the bill on Wednesday to make the ultrasound voluntary.

“There is no doubt that this bill . . . is fundamentally and seriously flawed,” Del. Charniele Herring (Alexandria) told her colleagues. “It is time to end the shame that has been brought to Virginia and to this chamber by this extreme bill.’’

The officials with knowledge of Tuesday night’s Republican meeting said GOP leaders hope to introduce amendments on Wednesday, but it is unclear whether the rank and file would support them.

McDonnell, who signed legislation last year that imposed new regulations for abortion clinics, first said last month that he would sign the ultrasound bill. His position was reiterated by his press secretary, Jeff Caldwell.

Victoria Cobb, president of the conservative Family Foundation, which considers the ultrasound bill one of its top priorities, said Tuesday that she and her staff were trying to determine what they need to do to persuade the governor to sign the legislation.

“It is a change as far as I can tell,” she said of McDonnell’s shift.

House passes 'personhood' and ultrasound measures

Full article from the Richmond Times Dispatch.

Nothing against Whitney Houston, but I got so sick of hearing the Bodyguard song that I stopped watching the news for the past few days. In doing so, I missed this bomb of a bill passed in the Virginia State House of Delegates yesterday: In summation, personhood would start at the moment of conception and women would be required to get an ultrasound when getting an abortion. The pros say that this is to make sure women are getting the best medical treatment and to avoid complications during the procedure; cons say that it is invasive and only meant to unfairly dissuade women.

Now, I’m not one to support abortion as birth control for those idiots who can’t do something as simple as take a pill each day or do one of the countless other measures out there to prevent pregnancy. However, there are so many endless situations that surround why a woman would agree to get an abortion - incest, rape, terminal birth defects - not to mention just being young or unprepared or knowing that the child they would have would be unwanted or uncared for, that I agree with Del. Joseph D. Morrissey, D-Henrico, who basically, says, butt out gov’t:

"It involves government in something that only should involve God and family and doctor," he said. - Richmond Times-Dispatch

And NOT with Del. Bob Marshall who is the one pushing the Bill through, who once said this:

Asked once about abortions in the case of incest, Marshall replied that sometimes the incest was voluntary.

“The woman becomes a sin-bearer of the crime, because the right of a child predominates over the embarrassment of the woman,” he said. - NY Daily News

At any rate, this could be a major step for Virginia and a HUGE change for any women who live in this state. Everyone needs to be aware this happening and make their opinions heard by email, phone, or mail to the Virginia General Assembly.


I went back out to Scott’s Run this morning to catch the leaves before all the gorgeous colors fell away and was not disappointed. The colors were amazing! There’s still a lot of green, but the yellows and reds and oranges were brilliant, especially in the sunshine.

What really surprised me, though, was how great it felt to run on the leaves that had fallen! It was so nice on my knees. The cushioning really made a difference in each step. My feet are usually a little tired after an hour from the pounding, even when on dirt trails, but I felt great all the way to the end.

What’s that waterfall? You live 10 minutes from my new home and I didn’t even know it?! Just when I start to miss New York City a little bit, something unexpected pops up and reminds me why I left the city for some nature in the first place.
I’d driven by the sign for Great Falls National Park last week, but went to explore more this weekend. Within minutes of leaving my house I was rock scrambling, cheering on kayakers, pondering the wonders of the waterfall, hiking through the woods, and fake asking a cute fellow hiker to take my picture so I could talk to him. And I didn’t have to research how to rent a car, or how to get public transportation, nor plan an entire weekend around the excursion. Don’t get me wrong, NYC has a million wonderful things about it, but easily getting out to nature is not one of them. Don’t even get me started on the 2 hour bike ride I went on on Sunday where I didn’t have to ride on one single road with cars! I’m in heaven :)

What’s that waterfall? You live 10 minutes from my new home and I didn’t even know it?! Just when I start to miss New York City a little bit, something unexpected pops up and reminds me why I left the city for some nature in the first place.

I’d driven by the sign for Great Falls National Park last week, but went to explore more this weekend. Within minutes of leaving my house I was rock scrambling, cheering on kayakers, pondering the wonders of the waterfall, hiking through the woods, and fake asking a cute fellow hiker to take my picture so I could talk to him. And I didn’t have to research how to rent a car, or how to get public transportation, nor plan an entire weekend around the excursion. Don’t get me wrong, NYC has a million wonderful things about it, but easily getting out to nature is not one of them. Don’t even get me started on the 2 hour bike ride I went on on Sunday where I didn’t have to ride on one single road with cars! I’m in heaven :)

I recently moved from the cement playground of New York City, to Vienna, Virginia - a suburb of Washington, D.C. I went for a run through Wolftrap, the National Park that abuts my new neighborhood and couldn’t believe my ears…NOTHING! Not a sound, other than nature of course. I kid you not, there was a real live babbling brook. I swear to you birds were tweeting and squirrels were frolicking. Not pigeons trying to poop on my head (happened) or rats running across my path (ditto). I felt like a very athletic Snow White. I think I could get used to this.

I recently moved from the cement playground of New York City, to Vienna, Virginia - a suburb of Washington, D.C. I went for a run through Wolftrap, the National Park that abuts my new neighborhood and couldn’t believe my ears…NOTHING! Not a sound, other than nature of course. I kid you not, there was a real live babbling brook. I swear to you birds were tweeting and squirrels were frolicking. Not pigeons trying to poop on my head (happened) or rats running across my path (ditto). I felt like a very athletic Snow White. I think I could get used to this.