Kentucky’s state Senate once again took up their perennial ultrasound bill, which forces a woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound while her doctor is legally required to describe what it looks like to her. The reasoning, one might assume, is because they think women have such tiny brains that they don’t understand simple matters of human biology. Or, perhaps these politicians enjoy shaming non-virgins and sacrificing their privacy to the Gods of the anti-choice political lobby. Or, they believe if the process is made as difficult as humanly possible for women (along with the assholes allowed to berate the women as the walk in), they will forgo their constitutionally protected legal right and carry their pregnancy to term against their wishes.
Nevertheless, SB 5 — along with SB 4, the 24-hour in-person waiting period which makes women in rural parts of Kentucky lose two days of work to pay for the roughly $600 procedure — passed easily through its Senate committee yesterday, and through the full Senate this morning.
But this year’s journey through the Senate was a little different, as several states traveled a rocky road towards passing their own ultrasound bills last year. One of those states was Virginia, whose bill mandated that women seeking an abortion early in her term receive a transvaginal ultrasound, which includes a 10-inch wand being inserted into her vagina… whether she wants it or not.
After a huge backlash, the mandatory transvaginal provision was dropped in Virginia, and the bill ultimately passed. It also had an exemption for women who were impregnated by their rapist.
But Kentucky? No, the Senate bill does not prohibit mandatory transvaginal ultrasounds, and it does not exempt rape victims.
So what does that mean? Yes, if a woman is raped and impregnated and wants to have an abortion in the first trimester (up to 14 weeks), this bill would have the government mandate that she have a 10-inch wand inserted in her vagina against her will, while she is forced to listen to her doctor describe what her rapist’s baby looks like.
But as Republicans will tell you, that’s only because they care so much about those women, and just want them to be fully informed.
But Sen. Kathy Stein — leader of the “Don’t Rape Women Twice” Senate caucus, along with Louisville’s Perry Clark, Denise Harper-Angel and young pup Morgan McGarvey — wasn’t about to let this bill pass without the other senators knowing exactly what they were voting for.
We can’t share the video on here — as KET’s web videos are made of technology from the late-90′s — but go here to see the video of Stein questioning bill sponsor Sen. Paul Hornback, from 10:22 to 22:40.
In her questioning, she gets Hornback to fully admit that there is no rape exemption in his bill, and that most abortions will require a doctor to use a transvaginal ultrasound, as 90 percent of abortions are in the first 14 weeks.
Hornback later attempted to backtrack, saying that not every abortion required the Kentucky Wand of Small Government Liberty, but 10 percent certainly ain’t much. Hornback also mentioned how the 24-hour waiting period is no big deal, because that is also required for men who want a vasectomy.
Stein was delighted to hear Hornback mentioned this, and added a follow up question:
“But are they forced to have a rectal exam?” asked Stein. “Which certainly goes along with male anatomy to determine whether or not the male genatalia, whether there are any issues there.”
Hornback gulped and answered in the negative.
“Well obviously that’s very invasive,” Stein countered. “And women have another area to invade, and that’s what I believe this bill does. I know it will pass, but I wanted to alert the committee and folks that things have changed since we first started this.”
But what hasn’t changed? Conservative men of both parties in Kentucky’s state Senate having no respect for the intelligence, privacy and rights of women.
Now onto the House Health and Welfare Committee, where the companion bill is placed and where Rep. Tom Burch will hopefully “shut that whole thing down,” as he has in past years.