As the Arkansas legislature continues moving toward a ban on most abortions, the sponsor of the state Senate version says he is willing to drop that part about the vaginal probe. From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:
An Arkansas senator proposing to ban most abortions in the state says he’s changing his bill to prohibit the procedure only if a fetal heartbeat is detected using an abdominal ultrasound.
Senator Jason Rapert’s original legislation, passed by his chamber last week, would put abortion off-limits for most women before they even knew they were pregnant. You would have needed an ultrasound by vaginal probe in order to determine which very few women were eligible to exercise their constitutional rights. “Can you imagine what kind of feeling that would cause when inserted into a woman?” Democratic Senator Stephanie Flowers asked him last week during the debate. “No,” Rapert said.
It turns out the state can still monitor a lot of pregnancies from the outside of your body, so Rapert’s going that route instead. Meanwhile, as you can see from the image, the senator who had been locally famous for his fiddling has become now famous in a whole new way as Fiddling Rapert. (H/t Arkansas Times.)
In changing his approach, Rapert follows in the footsteps of Virginia Governor Bob “Ultrasound” McDonnell. Last year McDonnell made himself nationally famous for a bill that would have subjected women in his state to medically unnecessary, invasive ultrasounds, before backing off a bit.