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Overturned abortion legislation a great compromise

Virginia’s Republican-controlled House of Delegates voted 65–32 last Wednesday for an amended bill that would only require an external ultrasound before an abortion instead of requiring an obtrusive trans-vaginal ultrasound.

The previous, more invasive bill required women to have a doctor use a wandlike device (vaginally inserted) that emits ultrasonic waves to create images of the fetus.

This is a successful compromise between the pro-life and pro-choice sides of the highly debated abortion issue.

When abortion is such a heavily contested topic at the state level, compromise is essential to promote what is truly important in the debate: women’s health.

The House decided to amend the bill shortly after Republican Governor Bob McDonnell issued a statement opposing the more invasive procedure, according to the Associated Press.

McDonnell changed his stance after the proposal drew outrage from women, pressure from the media, and appeals from Republican moderates concerned about the political impact.

The invasive bill rightfully incited criticism.

Ultrasounds during early stages of pregnancy involve an uncomfortable vaginal probe to measure gestational age, due to the fetus being undetectable by normal ultrasound methods.

Democratic Sen. Janet Howell said in the Virginian Pilot that the bill was “mandating rape” because of these aggressive methods.

At a time when state governments are making abortions increasingly difficult to obtain, it is nice to see an abortion bill scaled back to a reasonable requirement in an attempt to reach a compromise between both sides.

Those who are pro-choice and pro-life will never agree on the fundamentals of abortion, but women’s health and safety should be a priority no matter what.