GOP Poised To Legislate Mandatory Ultrasounds For Women Seeking Abortions

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Wisconsin Republicans are poised to pass a bill that would require women seeking abortions to get an ultrasound first.

A previous version of this bill would have required a doctor to be in the room when a woman receives her ultrasound; it would also have required her to look at the ultrasound. This plan would get rid of both of those requirements, but the big mandate would remain – a woman would have to receive an ultrasound before she gets an abortion.

The bill’s sponsor is Sen. Mary Lazich, R-New Berlin.

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“We see a lot of abortion trauma and people regretting their abortions. So what I’m saying here in the bill – we’re saying ‘Be sure that you’re fully informed.’ Because when you make that decision, it’s a life or death decision and you can’t change your mind the next day.”

Democrats attacked the bill as a rollback of women’s rights, and a case of state legislators trying to play doctor. Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said the plan was designed to bully women.

“The intentions of the bill are very, very clear. If you’re a woman and you live in Wisconsin, you’re not capable to think or make decisions on your own. You need senators – elected senators – to make the decision for you.”

Democrats tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill to give women the choice of a trans-vaginal or a trans-abdominal ultrasound, saying as it stood right now, the choice could be made for them. Republicans did agree to another change that would require free ultrasound clinics to offer trans-abdominal ultrasounds.

Democrats used a parliamentary tactic to delay a final vote on the plan, but the Senate is poised to pass it the next time it meets. Assembly GOP leaders are also on board, and Governor Walker says he will sign it.

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