Controversial Ultrasound Bill to be Debated in Senate Committee

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More than a hundred people are packed into an auditorium of the Idaho Statehouse this morning to hear the Senate State Affairs Committee take up a bill that would make an ultrasound compulsory before a woman undergoes an abortion in the state. Much of the audience was made up of women, like Sister Marie Arlene Ellis of St. John's Cathedral in Boise.

"I'm here in support of bill 1387," said Sister Ellis. "I think it might stop someone from having an abortion. It might help them make a different decision."

She and three other women from St. John's sat quietly in their rows, patiently awaiting the early morning committee hearing. They and other supporters of the bill say that it would make abortion "a more conscious decision."

Yet those who oppose the bill say it is an affront against women and their reproductive rights. Controversy over the bill resulted in a large March 8 protest in front of the Capitol, with groups like Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, the ACLU of Idaho and United Action for Idaho all present to rally against the legislation.

The aforementioned and more were in the audience for the 8 a.m. State Affairs meeting.