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Planned Parenthood Federation of America sharply criticized Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell for signing a mandatory ultrasound law that will deny Virginia women access to individualized reproductive health care and further hurt women seeking a safe and legal abortion in Virginia.

In signing this bill, Governor McDonnell chose to ignore the overwhelming outrage of the citizens of Virginia and the nation, who repudiated these efforts to inject the government into the privacy of the doctor-patient relationship.

“While the ultrasound bill was amended in Virginia, it is still an appalling and offensive government overreach that is designed to shame women who are seeking legal health care.  Governor McDonnell clearly has a political agenda to restrict women’s access to health care, and the ultrasound law is just the latest example of his extreme agenda,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  “The bottom line is that Governor McDonnell is looking to further his own political ambitions at the risk of hurting women’s health in Virginia.  The country has stood up and is taking notice. 

After publicly describing the bill as a priority last week, Governor McDonnell backtracked on his support for an initial version of the bill because of public outcry, and worked to push through a bill that still shames women seeking reproductive health care. 

The law signed today creates several new, onerous obstacles for women seeking abortion care that have no basis in medicine.  It mandates doctors perform procedures that may not be medically needed and forces women to make two trips to access abortion care.

“Unlike the one-size-fits-all mandate in this bill, Planned Parenthood health centers offer individualized care and always work closely with patients so that the care decided on together is based on a woman's personal experience and medical situation,” Richards continued.  “Planned Parenthood health centers provide compassionate health care to women, based on each woman’s personal situation, and we believe medical care should be determined by a woman and her doctor — not a politician like Governor McDonnell, who has been on the wrong side of women’s health his entire career.”

Governor McDonnell recently eliminated the state’s Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, which works to reduce unintended teen pregnancy through evidence-based, comprehensive education and health services serving over 4,000 teens in communities with the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state.  If passed, the elimination of the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative, a key part of the state’s teen pregnancy prevention efforts since 1994, will deprive teenage girls in the most high-risk areas of the state of the critical services and education necessary to make responsible and healthy life decisions.

In December, he signed medically unnecessary and politically motivated regulations intended to shut down all abortion providers after fast-tracking those regulations earlier in the year on a purported “emergency” basis.  Those regulations will affect more than women’s access to early abortion care, because most abortion care providers offer a full array of safe, affordable, preventive health services, including breast and cervical cancer screening, STD prevention and treatments, and birth control.




Planned Parenthood Federation of America


Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433


March 07, 2012


September 07, 2016