Virginia officials backed off last week from requiring vaginal ultrasounds before
abortions, but state legislators are still expected to pass a bill that
mandates abdominal ultrasounds and adds other significant requirements
for women seeking abortions.
In recent years, this common diagnostic tool has taken a
greater role in abortion-related legislation. Seven states require
ultrasounds before abortions. Twenty states regulate
some aspect of ultrasound exams, including requiring abortion providers
to give women the option to view the image or listen to the fetal
heartbeat if an ultrasound is performed.