The GOP-controlled Virginia Senate passed a bill Wednesday that will require women to have a fetal ultrasound before having an abortion.
The Senate had in previous years shot down the measure. But today the vote came largely along party lines with a vote of 21-18.
The House of Delegates has passed the bill in previous attempts. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has said he would sign the measure.
The vote came after passionate debate on both sides. Democrats argued women would be discouraged from haivng abortions.
Conservatives praised the measure.
“We are very pleased that the state Senate has recognized the need to update our existing informed consent practice with the most advanced medical technology available, including an ultrasound,'' said Victoria Cobb, president of the conservative Family Foundation. "The majority of Virginians see this proposal as reasonable and common sense.''
The ultrasound bill requires pregnant women seeking abortions to have a fetal ultrasound to determine the age of the fetus, but not force her to watch it.
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