Governor Bob McDonnell released this statement today regarding SB484. In this release Governor Mcdonnell states, (emphasis added);
“I am pro-life. I believe deeply in the sanctity of innocent human life and believe governments have a duty to protect human life. The more our society embraces a culture of life for all people, the better country we will have. Over the course of my 20-year career in elected office, I have been glad to play a leading role in putting in place common-sense policies that protect and defend innocent human life in the Commonwealth. One of those bills was Virginia’s informed consent statute, of which I was the chief patron in the House of Delegates, finally seeing its passage in 2001. This session, the General Assembly is now considering amending this informed consent statute to include a requirement that any woman seeking an abortion receive an ultrasound in order to establish the gestational age for appropriate medical purposes, and to offer a woman the opportunity to voluntarily review that ultrasound prior to giving her legal informed consent to abortion.
He ends the statement with;
“I have requested other amendments that help clarify the purposes of the bill and reflect a better understanding of prevailing medical practices. It is my hope that the members of the General Assembly will act favorably upon these recommendations from our office. We will await their action prior to making any further comments on this matter.”
This issue has generated static all over the country, including late night comedy TV. Frantic claims from Democrats, from those who should know better, or at least have better research departments, such as Saturday Night Live to Comedy Central, to those who know better but assume you do not such as Planned Parenthood. All claiming that Virginia is codifying into law the “rape” of women seeking an abortion. Their basis for this claim is that a first trimester ultrasound [sonogram] requires a “trans-vaginal” probe. (Sorry Dad, there ain’t no polite way to put it.)
What each of these has failed to do is truthfully explain the current recommendations from NAF, (National Abortion Federation). Their 2012 clinical policy guidelines state clearly that, in the first trimester, a sonogram is required to determine the gestational age of the little guy in the uterus.
Policy Statement: Proper use of ultrasound can inform clinical decision-making and enhance the safety and efficacy of abortion care.
Standard 1: Staff members who perform ultrasound exams and clinicians who interpret those exams must either show documentation that they have completed a program of training or must complete such a program developed by the facility. Training must include a period of direct supervision. Documentation of this training must be maintained. Following initial training, a system for evaluation of ongoing proficiency must be in place and documented.
Option 1.01: The Ultrasound Training in Abortion Care CD-ROM developed by ARMS, NAF, and CAPS is a good resource for training and may be utilized as part of a training program.
Standard 2: A system of clinical privileging must be in place for staff members who perform ultrasound exams and clinicians who interpret those exams. This system must include periodic review and renewal of these privileges.
Standard 3: Patients must be informed of the purpose and limitations of the ultrasound exam in the abortion care setting.
Option 3.01: This information may be provided in writing and the patient may be asked to sign a form acknowledging receipt of this information.
Standard 4: The findings of all ultrasound exams and the interpretation of those findings must be documented in the medical record. Photos or another method of storing the ultrasound images must be included as part of the documentation. This documentation must also include the name(s) of the staff members who performed and interpreted the exam.
Recommendation 4.1: A standard form for documenting findings and interpretation should be used.
Standard 5: In the first trimester, the ultrasound exam must include the following:
a. a full scan of the uterus in both the transverse and longitudinal planes;
b. measurements to document gestational age;
c. views to document the location of the pregnancy;
d. evaluation of fetal number; and
e. evaluation of the presence or absence of fetal cardiac activity.
5.1: When clinically indicated, evaluation of other pelvic structures (i.e., adnexal structures and the cul de sac) should be performed and documented.
Recommendation 5.2: Technology permitting both abdominal and transvaginal scanning should be available.
Standard 6: In the second trimester, the ultrasound exam must include the following:
a. fetal measurements to document gestational age;
b. views to document intrauterine location of the pregnancy;
c. evaluation of fetal number;
d. evaluation of the presence or absence of fetal cardiac activity; and
e. placental localization.
Recommendation 6.1: When placenta previa is suspected in a patient with a prior uterine scar, or when other placental abnormality is suspected, a referral for further diagnostic imaging should be made.
Standard 7: A procedure must be in place for further evaluation or referral of a patient in whom an intrauterine pregnancy has not been definitively identified or for whom an initial finding on the ultrasound may affect abortion management or future patient care.
Standard 8: Real-time ultrasound scanners must be used. Ultrasound equipment must be properly calibrated and maintained.
Standard 9: Ultrasound transducers must be disinfected between patients according to applicable infection control standards.
4 Adequate precautions must be taken to
protect both staff members and patients from the potential toxicity of chemical
To its credit Planned Parenthood follows these guidelines explicitly. They do not, however extend to the patient the courtesy of observing the results of this procedure.
SB484 merely requires that ALL abortion clinics follow these NAF abortion guidelines, and requires that a patient who desires to do so be allowed to view the result.
I’m disappointed in Governor McDonnell for caving to an obvious smear campaign. But I applaud him for keeping Virginia out of such an obnoxious propaganda battle.
Cross posted at imnotemeril.blogspot.com