More than 10 state legislatures are considering or have passed bills forcing women to receive an ultrasound before having an abortion. And Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering one of the most far-reaching ultrasound bills in the nation.
Gov. Tom Corbett (R) reaffirmed this week that he supports the anti-abortion measure so long as it’s not obtrusive because women could simply close their eyes during the procedure:
QUESTION: Making them watch…does that go too far in your mind?
CORBETT: I’m not making anybody watch, OK. Because you just have to close your eyes. As long as it’s on the exterior and not the interior.
Watch his answer:
Critics say Corbett’s comments show he doesn’t understand how the bill would even work. While the Pennsylvania legislation has been amended to remove references to invasive transvaginal ultrasounds, the language suggests a transvaginal ultrasound could still be required if the embryo is too small. Patrick Murphy, a Democrat running for attorney general, called for Corbett to apologize for his statement. “It’s unthinkable that he would so casually dismiss this by advising women to just close their eyes,” Murphy said.
The state House canceled a vote on the bill this week because medical associations have voiced concerns about the measure. And 48 percent of Pennsylvania voters oppose the ultrasound bill, with 42 percent supporting the measure, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. And 64 percent of voters oppose requiring transvaginal ultrasounds.
Meanwhile, Corbett’s approval rating among Pennsylvanians is dropping.