UPDATE: Senate Passes Bill Requiring Ultrasounds

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

UPDATE: 6/12 at 9:38 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans abruptly shut off debate before a dramatic vote approving a bill that requires women seeking an abortion first have an abortion performed.

The bill passed Wednesday as Democratic senators tried in vain to be recognized to speak. Republican Senate President Mike Ellis repeatedly banged his gavel and yelled that they were out of order.

The bill passed 17-15 with all Republicans in support and Democrats against.

Only two senators were able to speak Wednesday before Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald cut off debate after about 30 minutes.

Democratic Sen. Kathleen Vinehout says the bill's intent is to close down clinics that provide abortions in Wisconsin.

Bill sponsor Republican Sen. Mary Lazich gave an impassioned defense of the measure, saying it was a small step that would protect women.
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ORIGINAL STORY: 6/10 at 12:08 p.m.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A bill that would require doctors to provide or arrange an ultrasound for women seeking abortions has advanced out of a Senate committee.

The legislation sponsored by Republican Sen. Mary Lazich of New Berlin would require physicians to perform or arrange for an ultrasound, except in a medical emergency or cases where the pregnancy is caused by sexual assault or incest. Doctors would have to show the ultrasound image to the woman and provide a thorough description of the fetus' features.

Lazich says ultrasounds are common medical procedures, and women should be given full information about their pregnancy. But critics say the mandate would interfere in physicians' medical decisions.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee passed the measure Monday on a partisan 3-2 vote.


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