Without much ado, or debate, an abortion law written by Sen. Ralph Northam (Norfolk) to nullify a law passed during the previous session of the General Assembly requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before receiving an abortion was stopped in committee without debate on Monday.
Northam’s bill, SB1332, was presented and killed in the Senate Education and Health Committee on Monday afternoon. It was voted against, 8-3.
According to The Virginian-Pilot, things “got testy” when Sen. Steve Martin (no, not the comedian), the committee chairman for the Senate Education and Health Committee, moved to table SB1332 without discussion. Classy, Sen. Martin, classy.
According to Martin, “We have heard that bill now twice.” And yet it still hasn’t sunk it that the ultrasound bill passed in 2012 sucks.
SB1332 is the latest culmination of frustrations between both parties over two seemingly divergent political agendas with little or no middle ground. And it is no small irony that the Republican Party’s legislation to mandate ultrasounds before abortions can be carried out is more than a slight degree of government intrusion into the individual lives of private citizens.
And this is the real heart of the issue. How far can a government go in the lives of private citizens to legislate moral codes? If Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly had their way, the answer would probably be, pretty far.