Idaho Bill Requires Women to Go to Awful Crisis Pregnancy Centers Before Getting Abortions

Were you thinking of fleeing north to escape the draconian reproductive legislation being pushed through in Arizona, Texas, Virginia, and other southern "paradises"? Well, don't bother, because things are getting just as bad for women filthy whores in places like Idaho. Idaho? No, you da ho. Ahem. Anyway, a state senator in Idaho recently proposed his own brand of crazy ultrasound bill that promises to increase the cost of abortions and route lower-income women through those dreaded anti-choice, super deceptive crisis pregnancy centers before they can have an abortion.

The bill, like others already passed in Virginia and Texas, will require women to have an ultrasound before they can obtain an abortion. The issue is that the bill stipulates that the doctor or someone at the clinic where the abortion is being performed has to administer the ultrasound. Because most facilities charge for ultrasounds—somewhere in the neighborhood of $200, in many cases—that means this law would add a substantial amount to the cost of getting an abortion in Idaho. That will obviously ensure that the procedure is out of reach for many lower-income women.

That is totally fine with the crafters of this bill, but, just to pretend like they actually care about giving women any options at all (why do they even bother at this point?), legislators have made the bill require that the Department of Health and Welfare keep a list of places where women can get free ultrasounds. That sounds like a start, until you learn that virtually every place that offers free ultrasounds in the state is a crisis pregnancy center—those creepy, misleading organizations that have nothing to do with giving actual medical advice and exist pretty much solely to talk women out of getting abortions. Wait one sec, don't start shrieking wordlessly and shaking your fists at the sky just yet. There's more.

If a woman who wants an abortion manages to get to an abortion provider, be referred for a free ultrasound, and then makes it out of the crisis pregnancy center intact, you'd think she'd then be "rewarded" by actually receiving the abortion she's been trying so hard to get. You could be wrong, however, because the legislators have not yet made all the rules in this fun game they're playing with people's lives. They're still deciding whether the ultrasounds performed at these crisis pregnancy centers would even cover the ultrasound requirement in the bill because technically they weren't performed at the clinic where the abortion is being done. Excuse my French, but what the fuck?

What's more—as if we needed any more, thank you very much—is that even if the free ultrasound were to count under the law, many abortion clinics would still insist on doing their own ultrasound, just to be sure they'd followed the law to the nth degree. So that'd mean even though a woman got a free ultrasound, she'd still have to pay for a second one in the end—that she could not afford to begin with. Really, it's enough to make you want to grab one of those magic transvaginal ultrasound wands and jam it deep into the ear of the bill's author, Senator Chuck Winder, to see what, exactly, is going on in that head of his.

Do you think this long and winding road of faulty logic bothers Winder at all? No sirree. In fact, he's just fine with it since, he says, the whole point of the law is "to convince a woman not to go through with abortions." Bing bang boom. I think we're done here.

Or, rather, I wish we were done here, but, in fact, we're just getting started. The bill passed out of committee by 7-2 vote along party lines on Wednesday, and now it will go to the full senate. So, we're just a few legislative steps away from Idaho essential turning itself into one giant, horrible crisis pregnancy center. It almost makes you long for the good old days of a few weeks ago when it was the ultrasound itself that was the most objectionable part of a bill like this.

Idaho Legislature Proposes Bill To Trick Women Into Visiting Crisis Pregnancy Centers [RH Reality Check]
Idaho Senate panel OKs abortion ultrasound mandate [The Northwestern]

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