Covering an Indiana State Senate hearing yesterday, the essential Indianapolis Star reporter Mary Beth Schneider had a question: Would the Republican-sponsored bill being discussed by the committee, on the use of abortion-inducing drugs, require women to undergo a vaginal ultrasound? Because this kind of thing is more usually private, she then explained for the guys in her Twitter audience what, exactly, a vaginal ultrasound was.
The Indiana Senate committee ended up passing the bill, with all Democrats and one Republican voting no. And Schneider learned that the answer to her question of whether Indiana would require women to undergo vaginal probing is yes, times two. From her report in the Indy Star:
Women obtaining an abortion-inducing drug would be required to undergo an ultrasound before and after taking the drug under a bill approved Wednesday by an Indiana Senate committee.
Though the bill doesn’t specify that it be a transvaginal ultrasound, in which a several-inch-long probe is inserted in the woman, that’s exactly what Indiana would be requiring, said Dr. John Stutsman, an Indiana University School of Medicine professor and obstetrician-gynecologist….
While the woman is not required to keep that [second] appointment, the physician must make a “reasonable effort” to ensure she does.
Imagine for a moment that “reasonable effort” phone call, where the doctor’s office tries to coax the woman back in for a second medically unnecessary invasive ultrasound. When these vaginal probe bills have come up in other states, people have had little trouble picturing them for the interwebs. Up top, one of the Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell commemorative probes. Lower, the meme for fiddling Arkansas State Senator Jason Rapert.
While you’re at it, read the Indiana bill as sponsored by Republican state Senator Travis Holdman.