Vaginal Ultrasound Politics


Pelvic ultrasound, especially vaginal ultrasound, is a medical procedure that is prescribed by your doctor.  Or it should be.  Politicians around the country have been proposing laws that would require a vaginal ultrasound to be performed on any woman seeking an abortion.  The reason for this is to force the woman to bond with the embryo in hopes that she will change her mind about having the procedure.  Regardless of your opinion on abortion, having a politician prescribe a medical procedure for non-medical reasons is not appropriate.  We will try to keep this page updated on current efforts to impose vaginal ultrasound on women seeking abortions. 

July 1, 2013:  With a new ultrasound bill and more in Ohio, AND Texas Republicans making a second try at closing most of the women's clinics, the national GOP tries to launch Project Grow, for women. "We need to be a party that allows" -- yes, allows -- "talented women to rise to the top." So much for timing (and substance).  For more information Click Here.

Republican state senators in Wisconsin on Wednesday silenced Democratic lawmakers while passing a bill requiring women to undergo an ultrasound procedure before being able to receive an abortion.

Wednesday’s Senate session began with state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D) reading letters from several constituents who opposed the bill.

“The idea of — quote — small government is in direct conflict with big government Republicans sticking their nose my vagina,” one voter named Suzanne wrote. “How can we get the conservatives — mostly men — to quit blaming women, many times girls, solely for unwanted pregnancies?”


Virginia has proposed legislation on the docket that would make transvaginal ultrasounds required without the woman's consent. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian discuss the proposed law.

Alabama: State Sen. Clay Scofield offered his own ultrasound measure a few weeks ago, which included a penalty of up to 10 years in jail and a $15,000 fine if doctors don't carry out the procedure. But Schofield backed off component of the bill that would have required doctors to stick a probe in women's vaginas, instead offering that a woman could undergo the "method of ultrasound that she would be more comfortable with."

This bill was stopped in it's tracks.

Idaho: State Sen. Chuck Winder (R-Boise) has introduced yet another bill requiring an ultrasound before an abortion, expanding upon a law already in place in the state that requires doctors to offer an ultrasound by forcing them to do it and to show the woman the image. As one anti-abortion advocate in the state described it to the local press, the idea behind the law is to make women undergo the procedure because it "gives her a window into her womb."

March 28, 2012 Idaho’s forced ultrasound bill was killed for good, when a House committee chairman said he won’t allow a hearing on the bill and anti-abortion activists said they’re withdrawing it.

Illinois: The House Agriculture Committee advanced a bill on February 22 that would require doctors to carry out an ultrasound and show it to the woman, unless she declines to view it in writing. And yes, you read that correctly: the "Ultrasound Opportunity Act" came from the agriculture committee. This prompted opponents to show up at the hearing wearing "Women are not livestock" T-shirts.

Kentucky: The state Senate approved a new bill requiring that a woman undergo an ultrasound before she can get an abortion, and instituting criminal penalties if the ultrasound isn't carried out. The bill is is not expected to advance in the House.

North Carolina: This law passed in 2011 was pretty much exactly like Virginia's, but as the local press pointed out, it didn't get nearly as much attention because people weren't talking about the "transvaginal" aspect. A federal judge ruled last October that doctors don't have to show women the ultrasound image, at least.

Pennsylvania: A pair of Republican state representatives introduced the "Women’s Right to Know Act," which passed out of committee last month before the uproar in Virginia prompted the majority leader to shelve it.

Texas: The Lone Star State was ahead of the curve on transvaginal ultrasounds, passing its bill in May 2011 under "emergency" status. A legal challenge to the law failed last month, and it became effective immediately.

The state of Texas currently requires that all women seeking abortions have ultrasounds. But if they are too early along for a regular ultrasound to show anything, they must undergo transvaginal ultrasounds.


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