Arlington, VA

The goings-on within the Virginia General Assembly generally do not make national news, but that changed this week after legislators passed a Republican-sponsored bill requiring women seeking an abortion to receive an ultrasound.

Incensed by what he saw as unnecessary government intrusion into the private lives of women, Del. David Englin (D) issued a scathing statement about the bill.

“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,” Englin said. “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.”

The statement apparently attracted the attention of cable news bookers. Englin, who represents parts of Arlington and Alexandria, was invited on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show last night to reiterate his point for a national audience.

Before the interview, Maddow argued that should the bill be signed as-is by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), it could hurt his chances of becoming a Republican vice presidential candidate in 2012.

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