Michigan House Speaker Shuts Down Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill

Transvaginal probe inserted into a women's vagina during an invasive ultrasound

Michigan’s House Speaker has ruled out a forced ultrasound bill that would mandate transvaginal probes for women seeking abortions. Speaker Jase Bolger (R) confirmed in a statement that “this House of Representatives will not pass a bill mandating transvaginal ultrasounds.”

“While I want to be sure women have access to the best technology available, I have absolutely no interest in forcing a woman to have a transvaginal ultrasound,” Bolger explained.

But if that’s something the Republican lawmaker is committed to, he might also want to condemn forced ultrasound bills as a whole — since even when that type of GOP-backed legislation doesn’t explicitly mandate a transvaginal probe, that’s often the end result. For the majority of women seeking an abortion within the first trimester of pregnancy, it’s too early for an abdominal ultrasound to be effective, so a doctor will have no choice but to use a transvaginal probe to fulfill the law.

And, of course, any measure that requires women to undergo an unwanted medical procedure — ultrasounds aren’t considered medically necessary for first trimester abortions — has nothing to do with ensuring women’s safety, health, or access to technology, regardless of the type of ultrasound equipment that is required.