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Lawmaker: Virginia bill requires ultrasound for miscarriages

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Virginia state Del. Jennifer McClellan (D) said on Wednesday that an updated bill requiring women seeking abortion to have an ultrasound causes more problems than it solves, including requiring the unnecessary procedure for women who miscarry.

In the bill’s original form, every woman seeking an abortion in Virginia would have to submit to a transvaginal ultrasound screening, in which a probe is inserted deep into the vagina.

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The resulting image would remain in a woman’s medical file for seven years, and any doctor who failed to perform a pre-abortion ultrasound would be liable to prosecution and fines.

But under pressure from pro-choice activists, as well as stinging ridicule from late-night television comics, Governor Bob McDonnell (R) tweaked the bill to require only non-intrusive abdominal ultrasounds.

In an emotional speech on the House floor, McClellan told lawmakers that the proposed law would still require women who had certain types of miscarriages to have an ultrasound.

“A missed miscarriage is when the embryo or fetus dies but continues to stay in the uterus,” she explained. “In that miscarriage, guess what you have to do to complete it. You have to have an abortion. By specifically inserting an exception for a spontaneous miscarriage, you’ve excluded from the ultrasound bill the very miscarriages that don’t require an abortion. By definition, you are requiring an ultrasound for the miscarriages that do. Words matter.”

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“Not every abortion is done in Planned Parenthood in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy,” she added. “And the difference is when those procedures are done, it is because the doctor feels that it is necessary and in the best interest of the patient. It is not because people in the General Assembly, who don’t have a medical degree, have decided for them.”

“Yes, I talk about the tragic cases. Somebody’s got to because we don’t just legislate to the stereotype.”

Watch this video from the Virginia House Democratic Caucus, uploaded Feb. 22, 2012.

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–With AFP


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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

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"Absolutely," Harris replied.

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"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Bernie Sanders says Democrats who ‘don’t have the guts’ to battle on healthcare ‘should be ashamed’

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During a portion of Tuesday night's Democratic debate focused on healthcare, Sen. Bernie Sanders interjected to castigate some of his 2020 primary rivals -- namely former vice president Joe Biden and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg—for again repeating right-wing talking points against Medicare for All and defending the primacy of the for-profit insurance industry.

"I get a little bit tired, I must say, of people defending a system which is dysfunctional, which is cruel," Sanders said, as he cast glances at Biden and Buttigieg. "Eighty-seven million uninsured, thirty-thousand people dying every single year, five-hundred thousand going bankrupt—for what reason?—they came down with cancer."

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