"Idaho's legislature is stalled on what could very well be the defining issue of the 2012 legislative session: ultrasounds before abortion. For days, the conversation has been ongoing: should Idaho require a woman to view an ultrasound image of her fetus before getting an abortion? Furthermore, should authorities require a more invasive "trans-vaginal" ultrasound for women in the very early stages of pregnancy?The problem? Senator Chuck Winder. Utah's state senator representing Boise, had something to say about the ultrasound bill when it was on the Senate floor Wednesday. And well he should have; he sponsored it. Introduced on March 12th with a prior transvaginal ultrasound requirement removed, it was reported out of committee two days later, and quick-flash, on the Senate floor on Wednesday. It easily passed that day.
On Wednesday, movement of a bill addressing the issue was halted when Rep. Tom Loertscher, Chairman of Idaho's House State Affairs Committee, canceled a hearing set for Thursday." 'I thought it was the better part of valor to call the meeting off tomorrow so we can wait until we have all the information we need,' Loertscher said. [Complete story here]
On Wednesday, as is traditional, the sponsor of the bill controls his party's debate, and saves the last few minutes for himself/herself. Toward the end of his speech, Senator Winder, apparently - hopefully - suffering from a disconnect between brain and mouth, said:
"This bill does not require a trans-vaginal exam. It leaves that up to the patient and the physician to make that determination. . . Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that's part of the counseling that goes on.A lot has been said and written about this remark, particularly "was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape." Also, his characterization of rape as a "rape issue" is standard terminology among the far right, but shocking nonetheless.
In any event, the bill moved to the House, and there was put on life support, with a poor prognosis. Was it put there yesterday by Senator Winder as a result of everyday foot in mouth disease? Or was it the greater disease of a right wingers simply being a right wingers? I choose the latter.