The Idaho ultrasound mandate, Senate Bill (SB) 1387 was shot down despite a pro-life rally of 150 people at the Capitol attempting to salvage it.
SB 1387, which passed the Idaho Senate 23-12 on March 19, stated women seeking an abortion, regardless of their or their doctor’s wishes, must first obtain an ultrasound.
“It was a terrible policy for women because politicians should not be making decisions that are best left up to a woman and her doctor,” said Sara Kiesler, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest in an email to The Arbiter.
After the win in the Senate, it looked as if this bill would pass in the House, leaving it on Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter’s desk. But a March 21 closed-door caucus ended in the cancellation of Thursday morning’s hearing on the bill.
“Basically, I’m listening to constituents and they aren’t just Democrats,” Rep. Lynn Luker (R-15A) of Boise said.
The bill was finally killed on Tuesday.
House State Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Loertscher (R) said the bill had legal issues and advised its advocates to try again
“What we’re seeing is that the women in our community, in our state, are standing up and saying ‘This bill is not promoting equal
rights,’ ” said Jess Caldwell-O’Keefe of the Boise State Women’s Center.
In a press release, Right to Life of Idaho President Jason Herring said they would tackle the bill again next year because it “protects a woman’s right to view and a child’s right to be seen.”
Some students agree with the pro-life arguments. Danielle Lyon, a third year theater performance major, acknowledges the
“If women are informed of the possible risks abortion may have on their body, the details of the procedure performed, and receive a thorough medical exam to ensure health, they are better equipped to make the safest decision,” Lyon said.
Despite a push for women’s safety, SB 1387 gave no pass on the ultrasound to women who had been the victims of rape or incest or needed an abortion for a medical emergency.
In fact, Chuck Winder, who sponsored the bill said, “I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape,” according to the Huffington Post. Winder was criticized heavily for this allusion to women possibly lying about rape in order to receive an abortion. He later apologized for his statement.
Abortions are typically done in the very early stages of pregnancy, so if this bill had passed, women would have had to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound.
According to Medline Plus, for a woman to undergo this procedure she would lie on her back with her feet in stirrups while the health care provider moved a probe inside her vagina.
“SB 1387 had nothing to do with women’s health and everything to do with shaming and demeaning women who seek safe and legal medical services,” Kiesler said.