Abortion Backers Kill Ultrasound-Abortion Bill in Idaho

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 27, 2012   |   3:24PM   |   Washington, DC

Abortion backers in Idaho successfully forced a statewide pro-life group to pull a bill from the legislature that would allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child.

With abortion businesses routinely doing ultrasounds before abortions, the question for many state legislatures is whether they will require abortion practitioners to allow women a chance to see the ultrasound. Even in states that have such requirements, abortion practitioners routinely bury the information at the bottom of informed consent forms and rarely allow women the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their baby before an abortion.

Seeking to change that, lawmakers in the state Senate in Idaho approved Senate Bill 1387 23-12 with seven Democrats opposing the bill with five Republicans joining them. Although the measure was expected to move further, Right to Life of Idaho today issued a press release saying it is pulling the bill.

That’s after abortion advocates overwhelmed the legislature with false claims about the legislation, claiming it would subject women to a rape-like medical procedure, regardless of the fact that pre-abortion ultrasounds are almost always done beforehand.

“Due to misconceptions about SB 1387, the complexity of this issue, and the lack of time left in the  session, we have decided to pull Senate Bill 1387 to work on concerns with plans to bring it back next year,” RTLI president Jason Herring said today.

“Senate Bill 1387 protects a woman’s right to view and a child’s right to be seen. Children in the womb cannot speak, cry, vote, text, email, phone call, or petition their government for redress of grievances,” he said. “But children in the womb can be seen if we allow them. They deserve the right to be seen just as every woman deserves the right to make a fully informed decision about abortion.”

“Women cannot make a fully informed decision if they are kept in the dark about the reality, visibility, and humanity of the life growing and developing within their womb. This debate is far from over. And we are committed to the passionate pursuit of truth and justice for Idaho’s women and children – our future generations,” Herring continued.

“We want to commend the diligent work and efforts of Senator Chuck Winder and Representative Janice McGeachin, as well as Senators Curt McKenzie, Sheryl Nuxoll, Steve Vick, Shirley McKague, and Representatives Brent Crane, Gayle Batt, Vito Barbieri, Reed DeMordaunt, Paul Shepherd, Judy Boyle, and Carlos Bilbao,” he concluded.

An AP report indicated Republican Rep. Tom Loertscher of Bone said the House State Affairs Committee he chairs won’t schedule a hearing on the measure — making it so the bill is dead until the 2013 legislative session. In a statement Loertscher wrote that “After talking with the sponsors of the bill, it was agreed to not proceed any further this year.”

During Senate consideration, according to an AP report, lawmakers said the ultrasound allowance would be an improvement on the Right to Know informed consent law the state already has in place allowing women to get information about abortion’s risks and alternatives abortion facilities don’t normally provide.

“This bill does take it one step further,” said Sen. Chuck Winder, R-Boise, who sponsored the legislation on behalf of the anti-abortion group Right to Life of Idaho. “I would think the most basic human right we have to protect is the right to life.”

Sen. Shawn Keough of Sandpoint, one of the five GOP senators to vote against the bill, said she was a “right-to-life” lawmaker, but couldn’t support the encroachment of government into the privacy of the doctor’s practice. The other Republicans who voted against the bill were Joyce Broadsword, of Sagle; Jim Hammond and John Goedde, of Coeur d’Alene; and Tim Corder, of Mountain Home.

“I am pleased to do whatever I can to protect innocent human life,” said Sen. Steve Vick, R-Dalton Gardens. “I support his legislation because I believe it gives the unborn one more chance to make the case that they should live. That, to me, overrides the other concerns I might have about this bill.”

The Cornerstone Family Council also supports the bill.

“Radical abortion rights activists are verbally attacking pro-life Senators. They have unleashed an all-out caustic e-mail assault comparing the Senators to the Taliban and Nazis. Not only are they rudely characterizing all pro-life citizens, but pro-abortion radicals are NOT telling the truth about the facts or the intent of S1387,” the group told its members.

“This Ultrasound legislation protects the mother’s right to see her unborn child in real-time ultrasound,” CFC said. “Abortion comes with a legion of physical, emotional and psychological risks that have the potential to scar a woman’s life forever in untold ways. The compassionate and right thing for the state to do is guarantee the mother access to information relevant to her decision. Allowing the pregnant mother to benefit from ultrasound information can only help her with this life-changing decision.”

The State Affairs Committee approved the Ultrasound bill on a 7-2 vote and Democrats Edgar Malepeai and Michelle Stennett voted against the bill.

SB 1387 would require an ultrasound prior to performance of an abortion. It would also require that the woman sign a form indicating that she had been given an opportunity to view the image.