Virginia S.B. 484 would require that a woman scheduled to have an abortion first undergo an ultrasound, not for medical reasons but political ones [“Abortion ultrasound bill passes Va. Senate,” front page, Feb. 2].

This bill requires that “the ultrasound image shall be made pursuant to standard medical practice in the community, contain the dimensions of the fetus, and accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs of the fetus, if present or viewable.” The procedure is expected to cost $250 to $500, and the charge would be added to the patient’s bill, to be paid by her insurer or passed on to the taxpayer if she’s on Medicaid.

That the patient’s doctor may not need or want the test didn’t move the Senate majority. Nor did it seem concerned that the results would serve no medical purpose.

The politicians assure us that, whatever brings a woman to the difficult and troubling decision to end her pregnancy, she remains free to refuse to view the ultrasound pictures. But should she do so, her medical records would note her refusal, and the ultrasound image would be kept in her medical chart for at least seven years. “Dr. Kafka, you are wanted in radiology.”

Robert T. Hall, Sterling


Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II practically ran to the courthouse on March 23, 2010, the day the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, to argue on behalf of the commonwealth that it was an illegal abuse of power for the federal government to require citizens to purchase health insurance they didn’t want.

Less than two years later, the commonwealth has enacted a statute requiring women who want an abortion to purchase an ultrasound procedure they don’t want and their doctors don’t believe is necessary. Am I missing something?

George Chuzi, McLean