Virginia Senate passes measure to mandate ultrasound image before abortion

The Virginia Senate has passed legislation to force pregnant women to have ultrasound images made of their fetuses before having an abortion. 

The Senate approved the Republican-backed measure on a mostly party-line 21-18 vote Wednesday. 

Republican Sen. Jill Vogel of Fauquier County said the bill would give women the right to certain information that can be gleaned from an ultrasound, like the gestational age of the fetus. Vogel's bill says the patient would be given the opportunity to see the image or hear the fetal heartbeat, but would not be required to do so. 

Sen. Ralph Northam, a Norfolk Democrat and a pediatric neurologist, argued that government has no business telling doctors and patients what kind of diagnostic tests should be done.