Press Club

Englin Blasts GOP Bill for ‘Requiring Vaginal Penetration’

Del. David Englin (D) is sharply criticizing a Republican-supported “informed consent” bill that requires women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion.

The bill, which passed the House of Delegates yesterday and the state Senate two weeks ago, would require an ultrasound to determine a fetus’ gestation age. It would then give the woman the option to view the ultrasound before her abortion.

Englin said the bill represents a level of government intrusion that “shocks the conscience.” According to Englin’s office:

… only an invasive transvaginal probe ultrasound can effectively determine gestation age during much of the first trimester, which is when most abortions occur. Englin offered an amendment to require the pregnant woman’s consent prior to subjecting her to a vaginal penetration ultrasound, but House Republicans rejected the amendment by a vote of 64 to 34.

Englin issued a statement in response to the bill’s passage:

This bill will require many women in Virginia to undergo vaginal penetration with an ultrasound probe against their consent in order to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion, even for nonsurgical, noninvasive, pharmaceutical abortions. This kind of government intrusion shocks the conscience and demonstrates the disturbing lengths Republican legislators will go to prevent women from controlling their own reproductive destiny.

I offered an amendment that would have protected women from the unwanted vaginal penetration required by this bill. House Republicans rejected that amendment. The next time Virginia Republicans speak the words ‘government intrusion’ I hope voters will remember this vote and hold them accountable for their hypocrisy.

Republicans, however, countered that the abortion itself is an invasive procedure.

“If we want to talk about invasiveness, there’s nothing more invasive than the procedure that she is about to have,” said bill sponsor Del. Kathy Byron (R), according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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