Abortion; ultrasound required at least 48 hours prior to undergoing procedure. (HB261)

Introduced By

Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Abortion; ultrasound required.  Requires every pregnant female to undergo a limited ultrasound examination prior to undergoing an abortion procedure. The bill also requires the Department of Health to compile information on facilities that perform free ultrasound services. Read the Bill »


02/10/2012: Merged into HB462


01/10/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/12 12102061D
01/10/2012Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/13/2012Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
01/18/2012Impact statement from DPB (HB261)
02/01/2012Subcommittee recommends incorporating (HB462-Byron)
02/10/2012Incorporated by Courts of Justice (HB462-Byron)


annie writes:

You republicans do not like making people have health insurance, who will pay for all of these required test? I know you are only concerned with the health of the women. . .Right, I think a competency test should be required of all Delegates prior to running, brain scans too.

robert legge writes:

How much money did the Republicans take from the ultrasound equipment lobby?

Michael writes:

I am sure that politicians got as much money from the "ultrasound equipment lobby" as they did from the "dental xray equipment lobby" for requiring a dentist to take an xray and show it to you before pulling your wisdom tooth.

Claire writes:

Michael, tell us about the laws that require a dentist to show a patient a radiograph before pulling a tooth: which states have these laws, links to the state code, etc. Thanks!

Waldo Jaquith writes:

I, too, am very curious to see these laws. I've had no luck tracking them down.

christina anne knight writes:

i just want to take this opportunity to call the republicans who supported this bill despicable liars and cowards for saying that the purpose of this bill is for the concern for women's health. are you people (republicans) just too cowardly to admit that the real purpose of this bill is to put an obstacle in the way of women who want an abortion (i guess telling the truth is not a family value). it seems you fascists are doing your best to turn virginia into a fascist state. i am ashamed to be a virginian. i look forward to the next election. christina anne knight

Mary writes:

Really? When you pass a bill, be man enough to say why. This isn't about women's health, so don't hide behind it. shame on you all. do you think we should pass a bill that says insurance companies can't pay for viagra? Let's see how that will go over with this male dominated assembly.

Pam writes:

Since when does the government require anyone to undergo an invasive medical procedure? This requires a probe to be shoved into a woman's vagina and is meant to humiliate and embarrass her. It has nothing to do with health. The probe is symbolic of the political white male control of women. It's nothing more than rape sanctioned by the state.

David W writes:

No one is shoving anything into anyone who didn't show up at the doctor's office ASKING for an invasive procedure. That's what an abortion is. So ok, you people have no problem with a much larger HOSE being inserted in order to suck the life out of a baby in utero, but you have a huge moral outrage over the same doctor inserting a much smaller device in order to give the woman a full understanding of what she is having killed so she can make an informed decision? Yikes, get your moral priorities straight.

This bill is not meant to "humiliate", "embarass," or "rape" women. It is meant to give women a better understanding of what is developing in their womb in the hopes of reaching their conscience and reducing the number of abortions. You can make arguments (strong ones) that it's not effective or intrudes on privacy and a woman's right to manage her own healthcare, but imagining in your head and running around telling each other that the true purpose behind this bill is that those evil Republicans are trying to rape and abuse women is ignorant- and it's a poor reflection on your ability to grasp the issue.

I don't support or agree with this bill either for a number of reasons, one of them being that it IS a degrading and unnecessary intrusion by the government and there are other ways to provide a woman with an understanding of where her fetus is in terms of development that don't FORCE actual procedures on her. But running around the internet screaming that people are "fascists!" for disagreeing with you is a good sign that YOU are the one on an uneven keel, not them. And while we're on the topic of the true motives behind supporting or not supporting this bill, I suspect the real reason we are seeing such a hysterical moral outrage from the pro-abortion crowd over showing a pregnant woman pictures of her baby is that they are terrified the public will learn about that a fetus at eight weeks has a face and looks human, not like a piece of garbage to be thrown away.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

the public will learn about that a fetus at eight weeks has a face and looks human

I'm not sure how you're counting, but that's not necessarily true. There's a fetus at the eighth week as it's counted in pregnancy (at which point it's called an "embryo," not a "fetus"), and it looks like this. It has a couple of eyes, and that's it in the way of a face. It looks more like a hamster. Then there's a fetus at the tenth week of pregnancy, which is eight weeks after conception, which is the point at which it's finally developed enough to be called a "fetus" (instead of, again, an "embryo," or a "blastocyst"), and that looks like this. At that point it's perhaps humanoid, about the size of a strawberry, without a perceivable neck (just an enormous head perched atop a stalk of a body), with an enormous, domed forehead, and at least the basic components of a face, though intelligent minds may disagree as to whether it actually looks like a face. I'm not sure that it's clearly human—I'd be just as likely to buy that it's a chimpanzee—but it's headed in that direction.

Claire writes:

I don't think the pro-choice crowd is " terrified the public will learn about that a fetus at eight weeks has a face and looks human," both for the reasons Waldo lays out above (i.e., that it doesn't exactly have a face after all) and also because it's very much doubtful that mandatory viewing of ultrasound images has an effect on a woman's decision to have an abortion. If we are going to mandate viewing of ultrasound images, though, I think it would be only right to show the true size of the embryo (which, at 8 weeks, is less than inch) rather than a magnified image. Because the true size is part of the "information" that anti-choicers so desperately want women to have, right?

Common Sense writes:

To David W: Your "concern" for women undergoing an abortion is . . . ahem! touching. But you are woefully ignorant of the facts. There is NO "hose" shoved up a woman's vagina, but a sterilized metal speculum-type instrument. You've apparently been fed false info by your fellow anti-choicers. Either that, or you are already envisioning a world where abortions are illegal -- and where a hose might be the only thing a desperate woman has recourse to.

Karen writes:

David, While I appreciate your "concern" as well, I find this legislation to be incredibly condescending and patronizing. Women who have made the considered and painful choice to terminate a pregnancy know what they are doing. I think I read in the bill that there is already a requirement to show them pictures of the embryo and fetus at different gestational ages. Someone please correct me if I am wrong on this.

What concerns me is the recklessness with which these bills were introduced, with no regard for Fourth Amendment rights or our rights based on non-descrimination laws.

When someone who touts himself as a small government conservative turns around and votes for something like this, it is the absolute worst hypocrisy in the world. As a fiscal conservative, I am absolutely, totally DISGUSTED and a disaffected voter. The Democratic Party is looking more and more reasonable.

Just Saying writes:

In 2010, Mark Cole introduced HB 53 to prevent employers and insurance companies from implanting people with microchips. His reasoning then... "I just think you should have the right to control your own body."