You can cross Pennsylvania off your list of areas where you can still get an abortion without facing a state-mandated effort to convince you the clump of cells you're carrying wants you to be its mommy and would look cute in Baby Gap outfits. Legislation recently introduced in Pennsylvania would make it the seventh state to make pre-abortion ultrasounds mandatory, according to Guttmacher. And since the bill already has 112 co-sponsors, it's guaranteed to pass the state's House of Representatives.
The "Women's Right To Know Act" would require all women to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before an abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, and medical emergencies. As RH Reality Check points out, there's also an odd exception for fetuses that are "less that 8 weeks along," but it doesn't explain how that would be determined without an ultrasound.
According to Philly Now, the bill says abortion providers must,
"Position the screen so that the patient is able to view the ultrasound test in its entirety, with a view of her unborn child, while that test is being conducted to determine gestational age... [However] the patient is not required to view the screen."
The procedure also comes with an unwanted gift: An envelope containing a print of the ultrasound image for the woman and her doctor. The woman isn't required to open the envelope, and it's unclear what the doctor is supposed to do with it.
Abortion providers who fail to comply with these new regulations can have their entire facility shut down by the state's attorney general. Really, the only silver lining to this story is that it introduced us to Rep. Babette Josephs of Philadelphia, who summed up the idiocy of legislators who think women can't understand what an abortion entails unless a doctor is forcing them to view an ultrasound. She says:
"What I find profoundly insulting is that these men and women on this bill think their own voters, who they assume are smart enough to vote for them, can't figure out what their own pregnancies are about and are too stupid…or evil to handle it themselves ... If they can't handle their own pregnancies, certainly they're not qualified to vote for these people who are on this bill, and they should never vote for any of them."
It's a bit long for a bumper sticker, but we still dig it.
Requirements For Ultrasound [Guttmacher]
More Invasive Abortion Legislation Proposed in Pennsylvania House of Representatives [Philly Now]
Pennsylvania House Introduces Mandatory Ultrasound Bill [RH Reality Check]
Image via Katherine Welles/Shutterstock.