Ultrasound Bill Opponents Claim Victory

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Opponents to a controversial measure that would have forced all women considering abortion to have an ultrasound are calling a victory in what they’ve called a “war against women.”

“We applaud those members of the legislature who stood against SB 1387 and government intrusion into private medical decisions,” said Hannah Brass, Legislative Director of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest in Idaho. “The public made it clear that no matter where in the state they live and no matter where on the political spectrum they are, the government mandating an ultrasound for political and not medical reasons is the very definition of government intrusion.”

The proposed mandate drew fire from opposition that argued the legislation would inject politicians into personal medical decisions, infringe upon women’s constitutional rights and add burden and trauma to women facing crisis pregnancies.

The bill’s sponsor, Boise Republican Sen. Chuck Winder, crafted the legislation with the help of Right to Life of Idaho. He said he drafted the bill to enhance informed consent laws with the ultimate aim of reducing the number of abortions. He did not except victims of rape and incest or abnormal fetal pregnancies from his bill.

Critics of the measure that aligned Idaho with nationwide efforts to pass ultrasound mandates kept the pressure on lawmakers to back off the proposal despite the limbo status the bill fell into after it was yanked from the House calendar last week

Iona Republican Rep. Tom Loertscher, chair of the House State Affairs Committee, told The Spokesman Review's Betsy Russell this morning that the bill died after proponents couldn’t garner enough support for the measure.

“Women, and men, in Idaho are watching and voting to ensure lawmakers know that this sort of mandate, which demeans and shames women, is not ok—now or ever,” Brass said.

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