To reassure the women of Idaho that the draconian law that would require women receive at least one mandatory ultrasound before having an abortion is really about “educating” women, anti-choice activist and crisis pregnancy center owner Brandi Swindell arranged to perform live ultrasounds at the state house.
“Isn’t this fun?” said Swindell at the demonstration. “Who doesn’t love seeing an ultrasound image of a baby?” she asked, adding, “Remember, this is first trimester, so the baby is tiny, tiny, tiny.”
Hannah Brass, Legislative Director for Planned Parenthood Northwest offered the important and critical context Swindell’s enthusiastic display lacked. “The biggest difference between today’s demonstration and this legislation is that the women today all chose to have an ultrasound. Idaho’s Senate Bill 1387 takes that decision away from a woman and her doctor and places it in the hands of politicians. Politicians should not be dictating private health care matters” said Brass in a statement on the political theater posing as legislative education.
“In addition, what proponents of the bill fail to acknowledge is that women who are in a state of medical emergency or are victims of rape are not exempt from this bill, which mandates ultrasounds that should be left up to a woman and her doctor. SB1387 is an example of politicians meddling in private medical decisions for political points when they should be focusing on the real things Idahoans care about, like jobs and education.”
It’s hard to tell if lawmakers in Idaho got either point. According to reports only a handful of the over 100 invited lawmakers actually attended the event. After all, why would legislators actually need to see and understand a medical procedure they, as non-medical professionals, are mandating?
Photo from janineomg via flickr.