Another Invasive Ultrasound Bill? Yep

Another Invasive Ultrasound Bill? Yep February 3, 2013

Man, you’d think the Republican party would have learned a thing or two from last year, when they got blasted for a whole range of authoritarian policies that harm women and lost the female vote by a sizable margin. Not in Arkansas, where they want to require invasive vaginal probes before a woman can get an abortion:

The new Rapert bill would prohibit an abortion if a heartbeat is detected, a limitation that moves the potential prohibition in Arkansas law to the 5th week of pregnancy, far beyond the pre-viability protection period that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld. Viability has generally been considered at the 23rd to 24th week, though anti-abortion legislatures have tried to move that to 20 weeks, a move that is under challenge in court. Such legislation is being offered again in Arkansas and could be considered in committee this week. It’s even meaner in some ways than Rapert’s bill — no exception for rape and incest or mental health of mother.

The new Rapert bill would require a check for heartbeat by “standard medical practice, including the use of medical devices as determined by standard medical practice.” The bill doesn’t spell it out, but at the earliest stage of a pregnancy, this requirement would mean a transvaginal probe. To get an abortion under the Rapert legislation, a woman in the earliest stage of pregnancy (when most abortions are sought and performed) would be forced to submit to a vaginal probe rather than a standard ultrasound passed over the abdomen. And, if five weeks pregnant and a heartbeat was detected, a woman would be told an abortion was illegal.

Sounds like this legislator has an extra ‘t’ in his name. Because this is rape — legally-sanctioned rape.


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