Last week, the country looked at Virginia with wide eyes and jaws dropped to the floor as their state House passed two dangerous, anti-abortion bills. But yesterday, the Senate's vote on one of the bills -- which would mandate an ultrasound for every woman planning an abortion -- was delayed! Women everywhere, and especially there in VA, are feeling like a major bullet has been dodged. Whew!
Although the turn of events may only offer a temporary sigh of relief, it's still a victory. After all, the bill was, in the words of which Delegate Kaye Kory, "an assault on the freedom and liberty of women in the commonwealth of Virginia." Now, it seems thanks in part to the people's protests, it's one step further from becoming the law.
Virginia Republicans claim that protests by about 1,000 people outside the state Capitol were not the cause for the delay. And they're not confirming that it has anything to do with Republican Governor Bob McDonnell's potential run as vice-president. Instead, they're saying members of the Senate were "trying to coordinate some things." (Eloquent, eh?) But I have a feeling that Virginians' voices were heard. Contrary to what the right may argue, the bill hasn't been widely supported by voters. A new poll in the state shows it to be unpopular, with 55 percent opposed to the legislation and only 36 percent in support.
In the wake of the Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood debacle last month, this is just another example of how women standing together and up for their health can make a real difference.
And that's the way it should be after all, right, being that our government is supposed to be by the people, for the people? But sometimes we forget that laws affecting women should be condoned by women themselves. Clearly, the bill being debated in Virginia government right now is contentious for a reason: Many women feel a forced transvaginal ultrasound would be invasive and detrimental. It would require women to undergo and doctors to do a procedure that is medically unnecessary.
It really is scary to think about a bill like this making it to law-dom, but at least for now, we can rest assured it won't. And that Virginia Republicans will have to swallow that bitter pill that they cannot sneakily undermine women's health. No, no, they have actual women to answer to.
Do you see delay of this bill as a win for women's health?
Image via Jennifer Morrow/Flickr