Fetal Ultrasound Bill Passes Out of Committee

Jan 31, 2014

Credit Wikimedia Commons

A Kentucky Senate committee has passed a bill that would require women seeking abortions to undergo a mandatory ultrasound procedure. Senate Bill 8 is the latest anti-abortion measure to clear the panel.

Lawmakers heard testimony from Derrick Selznick, who is director of the ACLU of Kentucky’s Reproductive Freedom Project. Selznick opposes the bill on the grounds that it’s demeaning to women.

“So for the majority of women that this will effect in Kentucky, there will have to have [sic] a vaginal ultrasound," he said. "And the courts have ruled that the only way a woman can dissent, even though it is written into the law that they can avert their eyes, the only way she can can fulfill that is to wear blinders and noise cancelling headphones. And if that isn’t degrading, I don’t know what is.”

Sen. Whitney Westerfield, a Republican from Hopkinsville is the bill's sponsor.

In many cases, the ultrasound would involve the use of a probe. Similar legislation in other states has led to expensive legal challenges.

But Westerfield says no cost is too great if abortions are limited.

“I don’t care what it costs: They’re lives. They’re lives," he siad. "I don’t care what it costs. If I need to go contribute them to another state to help pay for it, and if I had the money to do it, I’d do it. it’s a life.”

The bill now heads to the Senate floor. Another anti-abortion bill. Senate Bill 3, passed in that chamber last week.