Virginia Ultrasound Law Guide for Women and Doctors

Governor Bob McDonnell, also known as ‘Governor Ultrasound’, has recently signed a bill into law that would require an ultrasound for nearly all women seeking an abortion procedure in the state of Virginia.

To simplify things for women and doctors who want to know how Governor Ultrasound’s bill effects them, I’ve created a flowchart diagram, which I’ve entitled, ‘Virginia Ultrasound Law Guide for Women and Doctors’.  I hope that you find it helpful.

Virginia Ultrasound Law Guide for Women and Doctors Flowchart Diagram .pdf format (higher quality)

Brief history on the bill:

  • The original bill required a transvaginal ultrasound (involves invasive vaginal penetration) to determine the age of the fetus
  • Determining the age of the fetus is not medically necessary
  • To determine the most accurate age of the fetus, a transvaginal ultrasound must be performed
  • Public outrage ensued, and Governor McDonnell was dubbed ‘Governor Ultrasound’
  • The old bill was scrapped before it was signed into law, and a new bill was issued.

A revised bill was then issued.  Some features of the revised bill:

  • Transvaginal ultrasound is no longer required, instead transabdominal is required
  • The woman still must pay for her ultrasound, regardless of whether or not she has the funds to
  • The doctors opinion on the medical necessity of the ultrasound is irrelevant
  • The woman’s objection to the ultrasound is irrelevant
  • There are exceptions for medical emergencies where an abortion is necessary to prevent death or irreversible impairment to the woman
  • If the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, there is no exception, unless the woman reported it to law enforcement (most rapes and incest cases go unreported)

Here is the full text of the Virginia Ultrasound bill, signed into law by Governor Ultrasound.

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