You might think that legislation requiring a woman to have an ultrasound before an abortion is something that would only happen in Virginia or Texas. Well, you’d be wrong. In fact, such a bill has been put forward for the last several years in the General Assembly.
You also might think, if you are a regular reader of the New York Times, that Rhode Island’s version of the bill is equally as invasive as the one that just passed in Texas or the original one that was put forward in Virginia that caused such a commotion around the country.
Well, you’d be wrong again.
“Alabama, Kentucky, Rhode Island and Mississippi are also considering Texas-style legislation bordering on state-sanctioned rape,” wrote Nick Kristof in The Times this weekend.
“Absolutely not,” said the sponsor of Rhode Island’s bill, Karen MacBeth, D-Cumberland, when asked if this was an accurate account of her bill.
Her bill, rather, would require a non-vaginal ultrasound. MacBeth said she informed The Times of their error.
Even without being what Kristof called “state sanctioned rape,” Planned Parenthood of Southern New England thinks the bill is a legislative overreach.
“Politicians forcing doctors to use an ultrasound for political – and not medical – reasons is the very definition of government intrusion,” Paula Hodges, the group’s Rhode Island director, said. “Rhode Island lawmakers should not be interfering with personal, private medical decisions that should be best left to women and families and their doctors.”
MacBeth, who describes herself as being “very pro life” said she has sponsored the bill for the last three sessions since Rep. Arthur “Doc” Corvese, D- Providence, asked her to sponsor it for him when she took office. The bill has not made it out of committee since then, she said.