Following a public outcry, McDonnell revised the measure to exempt women from the more invasive procedure, but not before encountering the wit of comedian Jon Stewart, who characterized the bill as “a TSA pat-down inside their vagina.” McDonnell addressed the contradiction between supporting mandatory ultrasounds for women and opposing “invasive” TSA pat downs during a radio interview this morning on WTOP and claimed that there is no comparison between the legislation and the enhanced security procedures:
MCDONNELL: There are things that are required in the interest of public safety, like TSA procedures. There are ways to accomplish the same result without an invasive patdown. [...]
I believe this is something that respects the dignity of women by making sure they have necessary information.
And while McDonnell has regularly attacked President Obama’s health care reform plan as an unfunded mandate, he brushed off concerns that the ultrasound bill would create an unfunded mandate for women. He described the ultrasound as a necessary mandate that provides women with more information before having an abortion. “If there are legitimate mandates for health and safety, obviously I’m for those,” he explained.
The ultrasound bill passed the Senate earlier this afternoon and now heads to McDonnell for his signature.