A Virginia state senator gave Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) a new nickname on Tuesday, resurrecting a fight over McDonnell's support for legislation that would have mandated women have a transvaginal ultrasound before getting an abortion.
"[I]n Virginia ... we refer to Gov. Bob McDonnell as 'Governor VP' -- and that's not vice president, that's vaginal probe," said state Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) on a conference call organized by the Democratic National Committee.
It's not the first time Lucas has mocked McDonnell and the ultrasound bill. In a speech on the Senate floor in March, Lucas lamented that Virginia was becoming a "Punanny State" -- a reference to a "Daily Show" segment that made fun of the pending legislation.
"The state senator's comments about a bill that passed with the support of members of her own caucus are extremely disappointing," said Taylor Thornley, a spokeswoman for McDonnell. "Some Democrats would unfortunately prefer to focus on name calling and dividing Virginians at a time when we need to be working to get our economy back on track and more Virginians back to work."
In March, McDonnell signed the controversial bill, which requires women to undergo a transabdominal ultrasound procedure at least 24 hours before having an abortion, into law. The original version of the bill, which McDonnell initially supported, would have mandated the more invasive transvaginal ultrasound instead. The Virginia House of Delegates stripped the provision from the bill following uproar over the inclusion of the procedure, which is often painful and generally medically unnecessary.
McDonnell later said that he did not realize the original bill had mandated transvaginal ultrasounds and did not support requiring women to receive them.
On Wednesday's conference call, Lucas and Moore repeatedly criticized McDonnell, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney for their "extreme" positions on issues concerning women, including support for what they said were policies against reproductive rights and equal pay for women.
McDonnell was scheduled to visit Wisconsin on Tuesday to show support for Walker, who faces a recall election on June 5, but his spokeswoman said bad weather prevented him from making the trip.