Virginia State Delegate David Englin, our guest this week, checks in with some news about the transvaginal ultrasound bill:
I learned last night that Sen. Jill Vogel is striking Senate Bill 484 not because she is upset with [Governor] McDonnell for watering it down and removing the penetration mandate, but because she had a change of heart about the entire bill and no longer wanted any association with it. I just apologized to her in person and publicly on the House floor for publicly misrepresenting her position. Of course, none of that changes the horrendous nature of McDonnell's new version of the bill. But I wanted you to know.
Also, the Senate just voted, at her request, to strike SB 484. The House version is still on the Senate calendar for debate/vote today. Will update you when I have more!
Senator Vogel posts this statement on her decision to strike her own bill. "It was never my intent to force a woman to have a vaginal screening against her will, only to ensure that women seeking abortions are fully informed and that current state-of-the-art safety procedures are followed," she writes, in part. She calls her decision "a matter of conscience."
Producer Rebekah Dryden, who has shouldered our coverage all week, just got off the phone with Vogel's office. A spokesperson tells her that Vogel does think the state should require an ultrasound before a woman can have an abortion. Her office says Vogel intends to vote for the House bill as overhauled by Governor McDonnell, which still requires belly ultrasounds.
We'll have more on the show tonight, including Governor McDonnell's latest comments on the bill.