As Michele Bachmann’s support dwindles, she seems to be reaching even farther into an extreme conservative base by introducing a new bill that would require doctors to perform an ultrasound to make the heartbeat visible to the patient. She is calling it the “Heartbeat Informed Consent Act.”
Her argument is based in a study done by Focus on the Family, which claims that 78% of undecided women chose to not terminate their pregnancies once shown the fetal heartbeat. This shows the real purpose behind this has nothing to do with “informed consent” but rather is a way to try and guilt women out of a legal procedure they have every right to obtain. Most women have already made their decision before they even schedule their appointment… If they hadn’t decided yet they wouldn’t schedule the appointment. On top of that, offices are required to conduct some kind of counseling session to ensure that the patient is in fact sure of her decision before anything actually begins, so forcing women to have an unnecessary ultrasound is just more anti-choice propaganda.
A similar bill was recently passed in Texas that required doctors to perform an ultrasound and then detail the ultrasound image to their patients. The requirement to detail a description was struck down by a federal court judge and the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal so why Michele Bachmann thinks this bill is a good idea is beyond me.
It may well gain traction in the House of Representatives which is Republican controlled and has shown a voracious appetite for attacking women’s rights, but the Senate is controlled by the Democrats and the bill has little chance of moving forward there. Thank goodness for that!
Also on the bright side is that this ill-thought out attempt to garner support likely signifies the demise of her presidential campaign. Now we just need to get rid of the rest of the uber-conservative Republican candidates. Oh wait, that’s all of them. Oh well.