The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would require ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. The bill does not include an exemption for victims of rape.
According to the reproductive rights nonprofit Guttmacher Institute, 88% of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
During that time, fetuses are so small that doctors will employ trans-vaginal probes to conduct an internal ultrasound.
Sen. Whitney Westerfield, the bill’s sponsor, acknowledges that such a procedure could be traumatizing.
“I think it probably would be traumatic, but I don’t know if those numbers are accurate," he said. "I don’t know where that data’s coming from. So I can’t say I know. But I know that the bill doesn’t require any particular method,”
Westerfield says this is the 10th year such a bill has cleared the Senate, only to routinely die in the Democratically controlled House.