Ohio Republicans would like to get in on state-mandated, medically unnecessary ultrasound craze. A new bill sponsored by Republican state Representative Ron Hood -- and co-sponsored by more than half the majority Republican caucus -- would require women seeking an abortion to get an ultrasound as a condition of exercising that constitutionally protected right.
At a legislative hearing today, Democratic state Representative Dan Ramos remembered the time in 2011 when his Republican colleagues had a fetus "testify" by means of ultrasound. It took a while, Ramos remembered.
Representative Ramos: She took quite a long time to find the fetus, approximately a half hour, 45 minutes ... because she was relatively early on in her pregnancy and they said, the person performing the ultrasound said, that for even earlier times in gestation, the only real way to find the fetus in an ultrasound is not through a surface ultrasound but through a transvaginal ultrasound -- basically a machine that is inserted into a woman to detect whether or not there is a fetus in there.
There's no, um, exemption in this bill for if nothing can be found in a surface ultrasound. Is it your intention that we require transvaginal ultrasounds if that's the only way that can be done to find the fetus, in this bill? Because my understanding of medicine is at very early stages of gestation, that's basically the only way of finding or detecting by ultrasound.
Representative Hood: You know, Mr. Chairman, Representative, the bill does not specify what type of ultrasound would be used. It just specifies that there is an ultrasound to where the baby can be seen.
In other words, under his bill, those state-mandated ultrasounds could be transvaginal. Hood has not written his bill to make that explicit. Neither will he explicitly rule it out. It would appear not matter to him much.