At the end of February, Virginia lawmakers backed away from their intention to require every woman seeking an abortion to first undergo an ultrasound—and be positioned to view the image of the fetus. Governor Bob McDonnell balked at signing the measure into law when critics, many of them women, bridled at a provision that would force women in early pregnancy to submit to a vaginal ultrasound to detect the fetal heartbeat.
An argument was made that such coercion satisfies the legal definition of rape.
McDonnell's abrupt stab at moderation substituted an abdominal ultrasound for the vaginal intrusion. This, he may have thought, magnanimous gesture failed to calm many of Virginia's women, and the men who love them, about 1,000 of whom converged on Virginia's state capitol in Richmond early in March. From there, to quote Richmond's alternative Style Weekly, "Things got ugly."
Photo: Scott Elmquist/ Richmond Style Weekly