Reproductive choice needs our full support in Montana. Montana’s House Bill 280 has just been proposed to require all women seeking an abortion have an ultrasound done first. Not only do they want to take the rights of all women from them, but also the women themselves in most cases would have to pay for the ultrasounds themselves, regardless of their approval.
No immediate vote was taken as of yet, but if sponsor Republican Patricia Ingraham of Thompson Falls has her way, it will. She and other anti choice advocates suggest the prior abortive ultrasounds will cut out over 2300 Montana abortions a year.
Now, regular readers of my articles know, I am a huge advocate against reproductive coercion. This bill is exactly that. Not only does it mandate performing an unnecessary procedure it makes the women, herself pay for it. It goes a step further and requires that the doctors read the results of the tests to the woman seeking an abortion and if any provider refuses, could face felonies and up to 10 years prison time.
There are already states that have passed laws regarding ultrasound before abortion.
These include; Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan.
States requiring ultrasound after the first trimester are Florida and Arizona.
If the bill in Montana were to pass, it would be the harshest of the bills yet, in any of our states so far.
This is personal for me. I no longer live there, but my coerced abortion was performed in Montana, many years ago. It changed the course of my life forever. It is the reason, I am a pro choice advocate and Bella Online pro choice writer. I am taking the best of a terribly horrible situation and doing the best I can to stop it from ever happening again. This is more than a step back. It is a fall from a cliff.
The trauma the coercion caused me so long ago has remained to this day. I did not, have an ultrasound prior. It was not even posed as an option, as I am aware. I cannot fathom the trauma it would have added if I had. I can say that, had I had one, I think I would have asked to keep the image, even if it was burned into my minds eye forever. I am not sure that is healthy, even if, I would have wanted to see it. Thinking of the women, who never wanted to see it and now are haunted by it, is disturbing.
We must stand up for the rights of these women. Please sign the petitions through the links I have posted below, or write the appropriate government officials involved and let them know, you do not approve.
I also invite you to join my face book group Suzanne’s Choice to work to stop reproductive coercion. Coercion is cruel and is the anti choice.