Three Days Too LateFeb 14, 2014
Earlier today, the House Courts Criminal Subcommittee heard SB 617, a bill to repeal the ultrasound update to Virginia’s abortion informed consent law. All bills scheduled to be heard in today’s subcommittee meeting were similar to bills the committee had already heard testimony on in recent weeks, so a decision was made at the start of the meeting to eliminate time for testimony so as to expedite the hearing. Members of the public wishing to speak were given the chance to state their name, organization, and whether they supported or opposed the bill. SB617 was heard and Senator Mamie Locke (D-2, Hampton) made an impassioned plea for her bill and complained that the time and manner in which the subcommittee was hearing the bill was unfair. Lobbyists unrelated to this bill chuckled in the row in front of me, clearly understanding the characterization of her bill’s “mistreatment” was a stretch. Additionally, I found her complaint ironic since the way SB617 “passed” the Senate, led by Senator Locke herself, was not exemplary in the least.
Regardless, the time came for the public to raise their hands in support or in opposition to the bill. The usual cast of characters, Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, NARAL, ProgressVA, the McAuliffe Administration (again, taking a position on an abortion bill – see my post on that here), and others, stood in support of the repeal. However, a new face – a representative of the Roanoke Medical Center for Women – was there as well. The reason I single out this representative’s opposition is that I find it affirming of my theory that the Roanoke Medical Center for Women is in current violation of the ultrasound law. How fitting that they would testify in support of its repeal…
The Virginia Department of Health inspections revealed (click here for a page from the inspection report) that the Roanoke Medical Center for Women neither properly documented the gestational age nor printed a copy of the ultrasound prior to at least fourteen abortions (as required by the ultrasound law) making me wonder if they even did an ultrasound prior to those fourteen abortions. This center is also guilty (see inspection report here) of performing abortions on minors without parental consent/notification (as required by law), so it wouldn’t be surprising that they also violate ultrasound law.
All that being said, a motion was made and the bill was defeated. Three days too late as far as I’m concerned, but better late than never.