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New law requires trans-vaginal ultrasound before abortion, even for rape, incest cases


Ben Fenwick May 1st, 2008

Beginning in November, any female who seeks an abortion in Oklahoma will likely be required by law to have an electric wand inserted into her vagina before the doctor is allowed to perform the operati...

Beginning in November, any female who seeks an abortion in Oklahoma will likely be required by law to have an electric wand inserted into her vagina before the doctor is allowed to perform the operation, according to opponents.

The trans-vaginal ultrasound is the most common method used to view a pregnancy in the first trimester, when most legal abortions are carried out, said Dr. Kathryn Brewer, an abortion-rights advocate.

"For first-trimester abortions, the fetus is so small, you don't get a good look unless you put a vaginal probe in," Brewer said. "So, Oklahomans are forcing them to do that so the woman can see the body parts better."

RAPE
But in Senate Bill 1878, no provisions were provided for cases of rape or incest, she said.

"You can have some 14-year-old girl (who) got raped by her uncle Billy Bob, and she will still have to have that vaginal probe put up her an hour before the procedure. To me, it's unconscionable," Brewer said. "It's all about shaming you."

Dr. Dana Stone, also opposed to the bill, said, "I've heard some people compare it (the procedure) to rape by instrumentation."

"The language of the bill said it must be done," she said. "The doctor can't say it's not indicated, and the patient can't refuse it. It is mandated by the state Legislature."

Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, the author of the bill, said the procedure wasn't all that invasive considering the procedure the woman was electing to undergo in the first place.

"If opponents are concerned about invasive procedures, then they ought to be concerned about the abortion procedure. That is much more invasive than an ultrasound," Lamb said. "Ben Fenwick

 
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