UPDATE: The bill to require women to have an abdominal ultrasound or a trans-vaginal ultrasound has already passed the Senate. Lawmakers on the House State Affairs Committee were supposed to hear the bill Thursday morning, but in a surprise move late this afternoon, that meeting was canceled. That leaves the bill's future in limbo.
Protesters at odds over a plan to require women to get an ultrasound ahead of an abortion staged separate demonstrations Wednesday at the statehouse.
Inside the Idaho Capitol, supporters of this idea packed a hearing room to see a demonstration of women at different pregnancy stages getting an abdominal ultrasound. The anti-abortion clinic, Stanton Healthcare of Boise puts this event together. Clinic Founder and Executive Director Brandi Swindell countered claims that mandating an ultrasound before an abortion was invasive or painful. She asked one mother what it felt like. “Lorena, does this feel invasive at all?” Lorena replied, “No. Not at all. This is amazing. It’s a miracle to be able to see inside the womb.”
The image of each fetus was projected on a large screen as the ultrasound technician scanned the women for a fetal heartbeat. Swindell was interrupted several times by protesters, who were escorted out by Idaho State Police Officers.
Outside the statehouse, opponents rallied. Planned Parenthood called the ultrasound exhibition a “political stunt,” and said it uses “women’s health as a theater and women’s bodies as a stage.”
James Mace announced he's running as a write-in candidate against the bill’s sponsor Sen. Chuck Winder (R-Boise). He asked the crowd “Why are we debating this, why? What has this got to do with jobs, what has it got to do with the economy, what’s it got to do with education, nothing. This whole bill is useless.”
Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio