NEWSFLASH: Virginia Women Rally Against Anti-Abortion Bills

Between 1,000 and 1,500 women stood arm-in-arm yesterday at the Virginia state Capitol in Richmond to silently protest two anti-abortion bills scheduled for votes by the state’s General Assembly. One is a “personhood bill,” sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Prince William), which states that life begins at conception and would give rights to a fertilized egg. The other bill would require that women seeking abortions undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, which requires a probe being inserted into the vagina.

Last week, the House of Delegates passed the “personhood bill,” which proposes to give “unborn children at every stage of development all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of the Commonwealth.” The bill will now go to the state Senate Education and Health Committee. Republican Governor Bob McDonnell has not indicated whether he will sign the bill.

The transvaginal ultrasound bill has passed the House of Delegates and has gone to the Senate Education and Health Committee. Governor McDonnell has pledge to sign the bill.

Delegate L. Kaye Kory (D-Fairfax) criticized the transvaginal ultrasound bill, saying on the House floor yesterday that it would require women to “submit to involuntary vaginal penetration…This [legislative] body is mounting an assault on the freedom and liberty of women in the commonwealth of Virginia.”

Do you live in Virginia? Click here to urge your state Senators to vote against this bill.

Residents of any state can sign below to urge Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to veto the bill:

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Cross-posted from Feminist News.

Photo from Flickr user taberandrew under Creative Commons 3.0.


  1. Mark McIntyre says:

    PLEASE STOP repeating the “women stood arm-in-arm” myth…it was WOMEN AND MEN. These laws concern women and men…and are being protested by both women and men in unison. PLEASE edit your copy and respect reality.

  2. I would say easily that 25% of that crowd was men. Youngand old all there to help the magority be heard. I was so proud of everyone that was there.

  3. Deirdre M Abbott says:

    Governor Robert McDonnell
    State of Virginia

    Governor McDonnell

    I am a registered Republican from Maryland. I am asking you not to sign in to law the bill requiring “Trans-Vaginal Ultra Sound prior to Abortion. I am not in favor of Abortion, but I not in favor of this invasive procedure either. What this procedure amounts to is nothing more then legalized RAPE (FBI definition). When you remove a Women’s option to refuse, a procedure this invasive, you are authorizing State sanctioned RAPE. If you sign this bill into law, you are becoming party to this rape. I cannot, will not condone this action by financially supporting a state that will knowingly allow this to occur.

    If this bill passes, and you sign it into law, I make the following promises:
    –I will not vote for ANY Republican Candidate
    –I will boycott Virginia as will my entire family
    –I will encourage all my friends to Boycott Virginia
    –I will contribute the money I planned to use for the Family vacation planned at Williamsburg and Busch Gardens this Spring, to President Obama’s Re-election Campaign

    Thank you for taking the time to read this e mail


    Deirdre M. Abbott
    Baltimore, Maryland

  4. Please stop saying how intrusive the transvaginal ultrasound is. I had a transvaginal ultrasound when I had uterine cancer. It was nothing more than any of the other vaginal proceedures that I’ve had. What is really intrusive is the suction machine that suctions out someone else’s life. Now that is really intrusive.

    • The ultrasound itself is not quite the problem here. Let’s, just for a moment, disregard that in this case it’s to take place prior to abortion as a means of forcible shame and humiliation. Let’s just think for a moment about what is the most ludicrous aspect of this requirement. Actually, first let me say that while I do not agree with your opinion on abortion, I respect that you have a right to believe it and in fact, as an american to speak your mind and make decisions about your body and encourage others appropriately. However, this trans-vaginal ultrasound, while uncomfortable (I’ve had several, for medical reasons) is not the real issue. The real issue is whether or not a government can mandate an unnecessary medical procedure that is both invasive and without a corresponding medical opinion in addition to not allowing the doctor or patient to opt out. Regardless of the reason why they are asking women to have the procedure, I think we can all agree that if during your cancer treatments you opted not to have this procedure then no government, politician, or even doctor, could force you to have one. Mandating any medical procedure is a violation of personal liberty. Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice forcing unnecessary and expensive, non-consensual, invasive procedures in the absence of medical necessity, for women specifically should be enough to get you to the voting booth and get these ignoramuses out of office.

    • So, forced penetration because the government said so is okay with you? You are lucky that Virginia made it clear what was in the bill. Texas passed this under the guise of “required sonogram” and Perry signed it off as an “emergency” passage before we knew what hit us. Very few people were aware of the transvaginal aspect until it was done.
      If that isn’t clear to you….take a look at what the Kansas governor wants to do. Their bill requires the doctor to say an abortion causes breast cancer. They are also able to withhold health information from the patient without fear of malpractice if it will prevent an abortion….even at the risk of the mother’s health to have the baby. Think about that for a moment.
      How comfortable will your next doctor’s visit be if language like that can even be up for consideration? I also mention the Kansas governor stated he has NOT read the bill yet, but promises to sign off on ANY anti-abortion bill put on his desk.
      At any cost, Sarah? Anti-abortion is one thing….anti-women is something else entirely.

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