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Virginia Senate passes ultrasound abortion mandate

Steve Helber | AP
Steve Helber | AP
State Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk, the senate's only doctor, grimaces as he speaks during debate on a bill requiring an ultrasound before an abortion on the floor of the Senate at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012.
By BOB LEWIS, The Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia’s Senate passed legislation Tuesday that requires women seeking abortions to undergo ultrasound exams.

The 21-19 final vote was largely along party lines with Democrats Charles Colgan and Phil Puckett allying themselves with Republicans and one Republican, John Watkins, voting against the measure.

The amended measure heads back to the House for its concurrence. An amendment last week eliminates mandatory vaginal ultrasound probes that provoked national scorn and ridicule. One adopted Tuesday exempts victims of rape and incest who reported the attacks to police.

Along mostly party lines, the GOP-led Senate rejected amendments that would have made the procedure optional, force insurers or the state to cover it, and to exempt women who can’t afford it.


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