Eye On Boise

Senate debate: 'An abdominal ultrasound would be limited'

Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, posed a question to Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, the only practicing physician in the Senate. "I'm calling on you as a physician," Goedde said. "I heard the good senator from 25 (Sen. Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum), talk about pregnancies 10 weeks of duration and the requirement for establishing fetal heartbeat. Can that be done with other than a trans-vaginal sonogram?" Schmidt responded, "It depends on the position of the embryo, it depends on the position of the uterus, it depends on the size of the woman. But most, from my experience, most ultrasonographers would argue that the information could be obtained through a trans-vaginal ultrasound. An abdominal ultrasound done across the abdomen would be limited."

Sen. Edgar Malepeai, D-Pocatello, said if he were king for a day, he'd excuse all male legislators from considering SB 1387 and replace them with women. "I have no idea, I have no idea, what a woman goes through when they make these kinds of decisions," he said.

Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, responded, "I can assure you that I have discussed this issue with  my wife many many times at great length. She has borne four children. Three of those children were alive when they were born and one was not. And I can tell you that I am pleased to do whatever I can to protect innocent human life. I support this legislation because I believe that it gives the unborn one more chance to make the case that they should live, and to me that overrides the other concerns that I might have about this bill."

Sen. Mitch Toryanski, R-Boise, said, "We are talking about an elective procedure." He compared SB 1387, the bill requiring Idaho women to undergo an ultrasound before they could have an abortion, to requiring that an organ donor go through a blood screening, or requiring a medical exam for a private pilot's license. "Government requires medical screening in many cases," he said. "The use of a screening device to provide information, it is hardly novel."

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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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