Eye On Boise

MONDAY, FEB. 27, 2012, 7:12 A.M.

Controversial anti-abortion bill that could require invasive procedure up for introduction in Idaho

Legislation that caused a brouhaha before being withdrawn Virginia is up for introduction in Idaho this morning, requiring an ultrasound before an Idaho woman could have an abortion; the issue is that at very early stages of pregnancy, a regular abdominal ultrasound doesn't provide a clear picture of the fetus, only an invasive transvaginal ultrasound, which requires insertion of a wand into the patient's vagina, does. In Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell and GOP lawmakers abandoned the bill last week after an outcry and national ridicule on TV programs like the Daily Show and Saturday Night Live; McDonnell said, "Mandating an invasive procedure in order to give informed consent is not a proper role for the state," the AP reported. An amended bill is now pending in that state.

The Idaho bill, sponsored by Senate Assistant Majority Leader Chuck Winder and Right to Life of Idaho, doesn't specifically mention the invasive procedure, according to Kerry Uhlenkott of Right to Life of Idaho. "The language is a little different," she said, comparing the Idaho bill to the Virginia one. Winder said, "We took that out." Julie Lynde of the Cornerstone Family Institute, another backer of the bill, said, "It just requires an ultrasound," with the provider and patient determining the procedure. "That's up to the abortion provider to decide that," she said.

In Virginia, the AP reported that a female lawmaker called the proposal "state-mandated rape."

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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