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Americans United for Life Says Attacks on Virginia Ultrasound Law Could Result in Fatal Consequences for Women

WASHINGTON, D.C. (02-22-12) – Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called attacks on a Virginia ultrasound bill “clear evidence that a powerful abortion lobby is willing to sacrifice women’s health and safety for a radical abortion agenda.”

The Virginia bill that has passed the Senate and may be considered in the House as soon as this afternoon requires an ultrasound before abortion for the medical safety of the woman. Late term abortions and ectopic pregnancies, for example, pose great risks to women’s health and lives. Women given abortion-inducing drugs when pregnant with an ectopic pregnancy have died.

The Virginia bill also stipulates that the mother be offered an opportunity to view the image and hear the heartbeat. Despite numerous false media reports, the bill does not require any particular kind of ultrasound but provides for the Virginia “standard of care” putting the choice for the kind of test in hands of the patient and doctor.

“The misinformation in this orchestrated campaign against this life-saving bill is reprehensible,” said Dr. Yoest. “The abortion industry is against any measure that gives women truthful, accurate information about abortion.  There is nothing more accurate, more truthful, than a picture of the woman’s unborn child.  But abortion providers want to hide this information, because their profits depend upon the woman choosing abortion over life.”

The Virginia bill is based in part on model legislation from AUL, and AUL’s Virginia Coordinator Mark Earley Jr. testified on behalf of the measure earlier in the legislative session. The measure has been closely looked at over the last few years as AUL and the Family Foundation of Virginia worked to educate legislators on the life-saving potential of the bill.

To date, at least 22 states help protect women through ultrasound requirements. In fact, abortion proponents suffered a tremendous defeat earlier this year when the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals resoundingly supported the ultrasound law in Texas, stating that the disclosure of the ultrasound, the fetal heartbeat, and accompanying medical descriptions are “the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information.”

“Abortion proponents are arguing against including a basic standard of care in ultrasound requirements,” said Dr. Yoest. “It is absolutely false than any invasive ultrasound test is required by this bill. But at stake here is protecting women’s lives from a rush to abortion that may harm them. Informed consent about the status of a woman’s pregnancy and whether she might be harmed should be a concern for all people.”

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