Idaho stepped closer to requiring women to undergo a fetal ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy, joining states including Virginia and Texas where abortion opponents are hoping the measures will cause women to reconsider abortion.
Boise Sen. Chuck Winder's legislation cleared the Senate State Affairs Committee Wednesday on a 7-2 vote, with Republicans in favor and Democrats opposing.
About 240 people packed an emotional two-hour hearing, and rhetoric was hyperbolic on each side. Critics compared the bill to laws favored by extremists such as the Taliban. And advocates said their opponents were as bad as Holocaust deniers.I understand the motivation of the proponents; they are hoping that seeing an ultrasound of the "fetal tissue" will cause women considering abortion to reconsider. There might be a few who will. But I really don't see that taking the Democratic position--that the government has a right to mandate medical procedures--is terribly wise. It cedes an important philosophical position to the left.
For Democrats who are angered about this intervention into private medical decisions: your President has already decided that it is properly the government's job to order people to have health insurance, as well as what sort of medicines must be covered by private health insurance. You clearly do not have a principled opposition to the government intervening in private medical decisions; this is just upset that it will make abortion more expensive, or discourage some women from doing so. As the punch line of the old joke goes: "We've already established what you are. We're just haggling about the price."