State GOP flexes muscles on abortion
Posted: January 18, 2013
The Winchester Star
WINCHESTER — A Virginia Senate committee Thursday shot down legislation that would have repealed last year’s controversial law mandating ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion.
The GOP-controlled Education and Health Committee voted along party lines to defeat the legislation, according to the state’s legislative information system (LIS).
The bill enacting the abdominal ultrasound mandate was introduced last year by Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Upperville.
In its original form, the bill would have required some women seeking an abortion to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, setting off a firestorm of controversy.
The law ultimately enacted required that a woman undergo an abdominal ultrasound. If necessary for imaging purposes, a transvaginal ultrasound must be offered, but women are allowed to refuse.
Some other recent votes involving General Assembly members who represent the Winchester area are:
The Senate committee on Privileges and Elections on Wednesday rejected a measure that would have created optional absentee voting for all voters.
Eight Republicans — including Vogel — voted against the bill, while seven Democrats voted in favor, according to the LIS.
Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia allow “no excuse” absentee voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Virginia voters who wish to vote absentee must have a valid reason that they cannot make it to the polls on Election Day, such as military service or jury duty.
The committee did, however, advance legislation — which Vogel supported — that would allow residents who are 65 or older to vote absentee in all cases.
As part of a House Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday, Beverly Sherwood, R-Frederick County, voted to authorize the state to request federal funds to construct a new veterans’ care center in Northern Virginia.
The bill would require the state to issue a short-term treasury loan of up to $20 million for its share of the construction costs.
She joined the other seven members of the subcommittee to advance the bill, according to the LIS.
A House of Delegates transportation subcommittee Wednesday approved a cycling-inspired bill that would protect bicyclists as part of the current law against motorists following vehicles too closely. Del. Randy Minchew, R-Leesburg, voted to advance the bill.
— Contact Conor Gallagher at email@example.com