RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A move to strike down the mandatory HPV vaccine is gone for the rest of the year. Monday afternoon, state senators blocked the measure affecting young girls, but it's what lawmakers didn't do that's also getting attention.
For yet another day, senators delayed a vote on the Republican-backed "ultrasound bill"...leading some Democrats to wonder if the bill is losing support.
It is, perhaps, the General Assembly's most divisive bill of the year. The bill that requires women to get an abdominal ultrasound before an abortion. An earlier version of the bill required a more invasive exam...but even now, the revised version is stalling in the senate.
Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax) spoke to us after a vote on the bill was delayed yet again.
"I think what's happening is that they're afraid they're losing some of their votes," she said.
Earlier, senators struck down a bill to get rid of the mandatory HPV vaccine. Right now, it's state law that all girls get it before sixth grade. Critics say the vaccine promotes promiscuity. Supporters say it saves lives. Either way...state law will stay the same, after the repeal effort failed.
A measure that passed, affects what you do at the voting booth. Senators approved a bill that would require voters to bring ID to their polling place. Critics say it discriminates against minorities, but the bill survived anyway...thanks to the tie breaking vote of Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Governor Bob McDonnell has not said whether he'll sign it.
Back to abortion. Last week, pro-life bills created tension at the Capitol. Monday, the demonstrations were more reserved...as lawmakers warned not to read too much into the latest delay.
"It could mean anything, and my advice to the public is to stay alert and to stay vigilant," said Sen. Don McEachin (D-Henrico).
Republicans were not immediately available to comment, citing committee meetings Monday afternoon. The ultrasound bill vote is now on Tuesday's calendar.