Virginia Sen. battles abortion bill with rectal exams

Virginia Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) has decided to protest the bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before an abortion with another amendment: require men to receive rectal exams before receiving erectile dysfunction medication, the Washington Post reported.

Howell expressed her disdain for the latest legislation on Monday, and said the amendment was just a matter of fairness between genders. Her amendment states before a man is treated for erectile dysfunction they must undergo a cardiac stress test and a digital rectal exam.

Read more at GlobalPost: Court allows Texas law on ultrasound before abortion

"We need some gender equity here," Howell, who’s been in the Senate since 1992, said, the Huffington Post reported. "The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we're going to do that to women, why not do that to men?"

Sen. Jill Vogel (R-Fauquier), the chief sponsor behind the ultrasound bill, shot back at Howell’s amendment, saying pregnancy and erectile dysfunction were not the same, CBS News reported. Howell’s proposed amendment failed, but only with a 19-21 vote, the Washington Post reported.

Vogel’s bill will be voted on Tuesday, and if passed, it will force all women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound image taken to determine the gestational age of the fetus, CBS New reported. It will also give every woman the option to see the image or hear the fetal heartbeat, but it won’t be a requirement. Women who live less than 100 miles from the medical facility would then have to wait at least a full day before having an abortion and women who live more than 100 miles away would only have to wait two hours.

Read more at GlobalPost: Immigration, abortion, alcohol: New laws in 2012


Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.