The majority of Mississippi House members want to extend the reach of government into the bodies of women who seek abortions in the state.
A bill passed out of the Republican-controlled House on a 78-36 vote Wednesday night requires women to undergo a vaginal ultrasound probe before receiving an abortion. No exception is made for rape or incest.
The test would have to be performed regardless of medical necessity. Supporters say the requirement is necessary in order for the women who is receiving the abortion to understand the fetus has a “heartbeat.”
The bill, HB1169, now goes to the GOP-controlled Senate.
The legislation uses the term “transvaginal” ultrasound.
MedlinePlus, an information service of the National Institutes of Health, describes the “transvaginal” procedure this way:
“You will be asked to undress, usually from the waist down. A transvaginal ultrasound is done with your bladder empty or partially filled.
“You will lie down on a table with your knees bent and feet in holders called stirrups. The health care provider will place a probe, called a transducer, into the vagina. The probe is covered with a condom and a gel. The probe sends out sound waves, which reflect off body structures. A computer receives these waves and uses them to create a picture. The doctor can immediately see the picture on a nearby TV monitor.
“The health care provider will move the probe within the area to see the pelvic organs.”