Crowd silently protests Virginia anti-abortion bills

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Pro-choice protesters in Virginia

Over a thousand people gathered outside the Virginia State Capitol today to protest the insane anti-abortion legislation currently up for the vote, including the already notorious bill mandating vaginal ultrasounds on women seeking abortions. The House delayed voting on the ultrasound bill, as well as one which would allow adoption agencies to turn down parents based on sexual orientation, meaning (hopefully) the showing has caused delegates to go sit in a corner and think about what they're doing.

The protesters linked arms and remained silent as legislators arrived for their noon floor session, though their written expressions said plenty. "Keep your laws off my future wife's body," "Virginia is for lovers, not probes," "I am not a [expletive deleted] incubator," and "Say no to state mandated rape" were some of the messages plastered on signs, armbands, and shirts. One stay-at-home mother even wrapped yellow tape reading, "This was a choice" around the baby carrier containing her nine-month-old son. Several Democratic legislators stopped to regard or speak to the protesters on their way into the building, including Delegate Algie T. Howell, who remarked, "God bless y'all. You're doing the right thing."

Democratic Delegate Kaye Kory spoke out against the ultrasound bill during the session, decrying its stipulation that women "submit to involuntary vaginal penetration." She continued, "This body is mounting an assault on the freedom and liberty of women in the commonwealth of Virginia."

Governor Bob McDonnell has expressed support for both this bill and the adoption bill, though an aide said today that the governor would review all measures before signing anything into law.

Keep fighting the good fight, all you protesters. Public outcry got Komen to reconsider its awful decision to cut funding to Planned Parenthood, and hopefully it can get Virginia lawmakers to rethink approving some truly terrible bills. Hey, the wonderful Amy Poehler is on your side. And if the Virginia legislature knows anything, it should know not to get Leslie Knope riled up. I mean, do they remember the threats she laid down at the Model UN meet?