Politifact Virginia: McDonnell on Ultrasound Bill

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – In this week's Politifact Virginia report - Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to sign into law a mandate that will require women, seeking an abortion, to have an ultrasound.

This modified bill will not require a "trans-vaginal" ultrasound, which critics believe is invasive. The new version of the bill came about because the governor suggested the change. His critics on both sides accuse him of flip flopping on the issue…but is that the case?

According to Politifact Virginia, the governor did not flip, on this issue. He never publicly supported the concept of mandatory "trans-vaginal ultrasounds." Here's what he said, on 'WTOP' Radio just a few weeks before debate on the bill began in earnest.

MCDONNELL: "An ultrasound - yes, I actually was the original sponsor of that bill about 10 years ago, to give a woman the right to know all the information before she makes the choice."
SEGRAVES: "Well, giving her the right to know and mandating a procedure are two completely different things."
MCDONNELL: "Yeah, but I think it gives full information - an ultrasound is used - it's modern technology, the costs have been driven down, to be able to have that information before making, what most people say is a very important, serious, life-changing decision, I think, is appropriate."

In that interview, and in the prior legislation he proposed, McDonnell was never specific about the types of ultrasounds that should be required. According to Politifact Reporter Warren Fiske, the governor was never in favor of requiring trans-vaginal ultrasounds. So this does not constitute a flip flop.

"He would do what he always said he would do which support and sign legislation that would mandate an abdominal sonogram for a woman before she had an abortion in Virginia. He supported that for a long time. He said he would always like to see that become legislation," said Fiske.

You can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com. 

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