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Howell Seeks Gender Equity in Ultrasound Bill

To protest sonogram mandate, state senator adds amendment that requires men to have additional tests for ED exam.

To protest a bill that would require women to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion, Virginia State Sen. Janet Howell (D-Reston) on Monday attached an amendment that would require men to have a rectal exam and a cardiac stress test before obtaining a prescription for erectile dysfunction medication.

"We need some gender equity here," she told HuffPost. "The Virginia senate is about to pass a bill that will require a woman to have totally unnecessary medical procedure at their cost and inconvenience. If we're going to do that to women, why not do that to men?"

The Senate will formally vote on the mandatory ultrasound bill on Tuesday.

The Republican-controlled senate  rejected the amendment Monday by a vote of 21 to 19, but passed the mandatory ultrasound bill in a voice vote. 

Howell said she is not surprised her amendment failed.

"This is more of a message type of an amendment, so I was pleased to get 19 votes," she said.

ECR March 20, 2012 at 11:51 AM
BSD, If you really want to follow what is happening legislatively, you can sign up for the newsletters from our legislators. Janet Howell regularly sends out newsletters to her constituents as does Jim Moran, Chap Peterson, and Cathy Hudgins. While some of your representatives may be different, it is likely that your representatives provide newsletters as well. To sign up for the newsletters, you need only to visit the representative's web site (they all have them) and provide an email address on the "sign-up for my newsletter" page. For Janet Howell, you can find the sign-up here: http://www.janethowell.com/ at the top of the page on the right. If you are concerned about your privacy, she has a whole web page explaining the privacy policies. These newsletters used to go out via traditional mail and have transitioned to email to save time, paper, and the tax dollars it cost to print and mail them. I hope more Virginians sign-up for these newsletters and pay closer attention to the decisions our representatives are making. It is often easier to complain about the outcome of the legislative process than to get involved and take the time to be informed, particularly before voting. We are all busy, including our representatives, and they are doing their part to inform us through newsletters, facebook, twitter, and print.
ECR March 20, 2012 at 11:56 AM
To sign up for other legislative newsletters, here are some of the site links: Chap Peterson https://services.myngp.com/ngponlineservices/EmailSignup.aspx?X=un3qE%2f5OGBM%3d Jim Moran https://moran.house.gov/contact-me/newsletter Cathy Hudgins http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/huntermill/newslettersandarchives.htm [top of the page in the text describing the info on the page] Sharon Bulova http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/chairman/ [Middle of the page, under Bulova Byline]
Reston Mom March 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Ken Plum's newsletter is distributed every Wednesday -- sign up at http://kenplum.com.
RKO March 20, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Some people seem to be confusing the issue, the ultra-sound debate, with BSD's critique of the senators actions. I think the gist of it is, or at least was in terms of my own comments, that there should have been more of an uproar coming from opponents and we didn't get it. If a building is on fire and you want to get the occupants out, do you make people aware of it by putting a link to it up on your web site?
ECR March 20, 2012 at 07:27 PM
RKO We weren't confused at all by the issue. Quite the contrary. Many of us were out there getting the word out. Do you think it is by sheer coincidence that the national media picked up on this issue in Virginia? No, it was through the efforts of people to get the word out and make the issue public so that the Bill wasn't buried in paperwork in Richmond. The word got out. Tens of thousands of people called Richmond, there were demonstrations, articles written and stories on the news. How BSD missed all this is beyond me, but I for one will give him the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps he was extremely busy that week. I, for one, am glad that many carried the issue to national notice and our Senator did the work she was supposed to do, that is, to negotiate, discuss and work on the behalf of her constituents who were telling her they were against this invasion on women's privacy. I think Janet Howell did a fabulous job of getting our attention on this important issue. We only had to pay attention.

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