Michigan Ultrasound Bill: GOP Continues War On Women

Here we go again: Yet another instance in which a male-dominating power tries to tell a woman what she should do and how she ought to control her body. When contraceptives aren’t up for discussion, there's always a pro-life versus pro-choice showdown — and it should not be happening.

Michigan Republicans are supporting a measure that would subject women to an ultrasound before having an abortion. The bill was introduced by state Rep. Joel Johnson (R) and backed by 22 other representatives, including two Democrats — males make up the majority.

The female patient in question would have to sign a consent form. Additionally, there would be a “performance of a diagnostic ultrasound examination of the fetus at least two hours before an abortion is performed,” according to the measure. The bill also calls for “providing the most visibly clear image of the gross anatomical development of the fetus and the most audible fetal heartbeat.”

In short, forcing a woman to suffer psychological distress in the dawning hours of what is probably the most difficult and trying decision of her life by further guilt-tripping with an audible heartbeat.

Donna Crane of NARAL Pro-Choice America also points out that the suggested measures “make abortion providers continue to acquire more and more and more equipment before they’re even eligible to perform an abortion” thus making it harder for doctors to perform their duties.

Applying the logic of consumer protection laws (because a woman’s body is clearly an object comparable to to a car loan), Johnson argues that women are obligated to have detailed explanations before proceeding with an abortion. Because, once again, women are clearly incapable of making their own decisions when it comes to their unborn fetuses residing inside of their own bodies and need to have the likes of Johnson to hold their hands each step of the way.

As aptly summarized by Michigan’s House Democrat leader, Tim Greimel, “This is yet another example of the Republican obsession with overregulating people’s private lives.” 

To have an ultrasound before going through with an abortion in the state of Michigan is currently optional — and should remain as such. As they say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

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Zainab Akande

Born and raised in New York City, Zainab is a University of Delaware alum, currently working on obtaining her M.A. in journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York. http://zainabakande.com/

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