US bill forcing women to see baby on ultrasound before having abortion passes – despite walkout protest by female senators

·3 min read

The entire female body of the UtahSenate staged a walkout in protest of an abortion bill mandating women to be shown the foetus on an ultrasound before being allowed to have the procedure.

All six female members of the Senate refused to vote on the bill and left the room, leaving only male peers to vote on Wednesday.

However, the influence of the lawmakers could not have changed the fate of the proposal which passed despite their absence with 16 votes to 7.

Republican Sen Deidre Henderson said in a statement the walkout was not planned, but a spontaneous move to highlight their concerns of “the invasive nature of the bill.”

While Sen Henderson opposes abortion, she said that mandating women to be shown the ultrasound is a step too far.

The change would make it a legal requirement to show a woman images of the foetus and listen to the heartbeat, if possible, before the abortion can take place.

Republican Sen Curtis Bramble, who is sponsoring the bill in the Senate, told the Deseret News that any woman who wants to have an abortion should have to face receiving information about the child’s development.

“If you are going to take the life of a child, if you are willing to terminate that life through an abortion, it seems appropriate that you get the best information about the development, the stage of development, heart beat – we are talking about a human being,” he told the local paper.

Democratic Sen Luz Escamillia tweeted about the protest writing: “Love my sisters in the Senate. A spontaneous decision not planned of sisterhood against the invasive nature of HB 364 #epic #sheroes #utleg”

She posted the caption alongside a photo of what appears to be the six senators embracing.

Five Republican men voted against the bill, but even if they had the additional votes of the six women lawmakers, it still would not have been stopped.

Sen Henderson proposed an amendment to the bill before the walkout, preventing women from having to endure a transvaginal ultrasound, a procedure in which provides ultrasound imaging through internal examination.

She deemed the procedure as “incredibly invasive.”

This amendment still has to be returned to the house to be approved.

Currently, women are required to have an ultrasound before the abortion but aren’t forced to see the results.

Doctors may be fined $100,000 or more if they perform a procedure without showing an ultrasound to the woman beforehand.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

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