While mandatory ultrasound bills continue to spread like wildfire among states hoping to block a woman’s right to choose, more and more lawmakers are beginning to realize that the “transvaginal” portion of the bill isn’t winning them any ground among their constituents. Yesterday, Alabama revised their bill to allow a woman to choose what type of ultrasound she would like done prior to obtaining an abortion. Now, Idaho is removing their transvaginal requirement, too.
According to the Spokesman, “Idaho Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder, R-Meridian, said the original version of his [mandatory ultrasound] bill specifically mentioned that procedure, but he removed it. ‘It didn’t require it, but in my opinion it was confusing … so we took it out,’ Winder said.”
But critics state that although the word was removed, it’s still essentially a transvaginal mandate. “Sara Kiesler, a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, said the measure would still require transvaginal exams, though the explicit reference to the procedure has been excised. ‘By requiring an obstetric ultrasound of the method preferred by the doctor, due to the gestation at which a woman typically has an abortion, this essentially requires a transvaginal ultrasound without calling it out by name.’”
Kiesler is likely right. Winder’s desire to ensure that “gestational age” is determined prior to an abortion would mean that an internal probe would have to be used if the woman is in the early stages of pregnancy. But for him, that’s just fine. “I think it’s an appropriate thing in this case to do, because you’re trying to determine the developmental stage of the fetus. … We feel that the state does have a right to look after that unborn child.”
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