Womens Health

Ultrasound Bills Moving in Texas and Michigan

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Michigan and Texas are both moving ahead with plans to force all women who are seeking abortions to have mandatory ultrasounds prior to the procedure.

Texas's ultrasound bill was under scrutiny as anti-abortion forces complained that the version going through the legislature wasn't strict enough.  However, lawmakers believe they have reached a compromise and can move ahead in passing it.

Via The Texas Tribune:

Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville and the author of HB 15, said the Senate substitute includes "90 percent" of the more restrictive House language, and it adds a provision that women who are the victims of rape or incest can opt out. He said that provision is acceptable.  

The bill's passage in the upper chamber hinges on a compromise Patrick struck with Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio. It requires women who live in counties with less than 60,000 people to get a sonogram at least two hours ahead of an abortion — as opposed to the 24 hour advance sonogram required for all other women under the measure. Miler said that exception is "not OK," but he wouldn't say it is a deal breaker.  

At this point, Miller said, "I just want the Senate to send me something back so we can see if the House supports it."

Although Texas is considering letting rape victims opt out of viewing the ultrasound, the same cannot be same for the bill under consideration in Michigan.  Via Michigan Messenger:

“There is no exception for a woman who has been raped or a woman who actually had a wanted pregnancy and learns that there is something wrong with the fetus that makes it unviable,“ [Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney at ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project] said. It seems wrong to make a woman look and listen to a description under those circumstances, she said. “It’s hard to say that these laws are about helping women when you look at what they would really do.”

Mandatory ultrasounds have been proven not to actually discourage women who want abortions from having them, but have still become a favorite restriction of anti-choice advocates for adding time and costs burdens to obtaining an abortion.