Ultrasound Bills Moving in Texas and Michigan

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.

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  • equalist

    While it’s truly horrible to force a rape victim to view an ultrasound before allowing her to have a legal abortion, to me it is actually far more unconscionable to force a woman with a doomed pregnancy to do so.  Obviously she has already been made painfully aware of the circumstances surrounding her fetus, and an additional forced reminder is nothing other than cruel, and has no benefit to the woman in question.

  • arekushieru

    It certainly depends on whether or not it was a vaginal ultrasound.  Because, I think, that would be extremely traumatic for a rape victim forced to endure that.



  • arekushieru

    Why is it that the counties with less than 60, 000 people are exempted from the 24 hour advance sonogram?  It seems kinda fishy.  Since impoverished and disadvantaged women are more likely to be found in urban centres, specifically those in larger areas (where larger densities in populations uniquely contribute to the disenfranchisment of minorities and the disadvantaged), are they not?  

  • crowepps

    Considering that the doomed pregnancy was probably DIAGNOSED by using ultrasound, it is not only cruel and without benefit but a total waste of money.


    But then ultrasounds aren’t supposed to BENEFIT women, they’re supposed to shame and punish them and make abortion as horrible as possible.  There have been posters here before who assert that if abortion is made illegal, abortions will be greatly reduced or stop altogether.  They don’t seem to recognize that a woman willing to wade through the nasty harassment by crazy ProLife protestors, have a totally unnecessary ultrasound, listen to the doctor read a bunch of scare mongering lies, wade through the nasty harassment all over again, and STILL chooses an abortion, is likely going to find the back alley easier to deal with than what she has to put up with now.