Senate debates bill requiring ultrasound before abortion

MADISON (WITI) -- Senate Bill 206 would require women seeking an abortion to first see an ultrasound of the fetus in the womb. It is a bill some are calling an attack on women's rights, while others say it is an effort to inform women before they make a life-altering decision.

Supporters of Planned Parenthood visited the Capitol offices of Republican senators on Tuesday, June 11th -- dropping off pink ping pong balls with a message: Don't play games when it comes to women's health.

"This is a political body. This is not a medical facility and it's really important politicians do not practice medicine," Tanya Atkinson with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin said.

"The woman needs that full information. She needs the opportunity to meet her unborn child via ultrasound and that empowers her to make a better decision," Barbara Lyons with Wisconsin Right to Life said.

On the floor, the Senate debated the bill Tuesday.

Democrats say the state has no business interfering with a woman making a legal health decision.

"We are looking at a bill in which the government invades the most private part of a woman's body when we know we have not even provided access to what we're
saying is mandated," Sen. Lena Taylor (D - Milwaukee) said.

Republicans say the bill doesn't mean to interfere, but rather inform women who are about to make a major decision.

The bill also requires that in order to perform an abortion, a physician must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion site.

"It's arbitrary and in fact, that particular provision would cause us to close our Appleton abortion center if that were to pass," Atkinson said.

"I would think they could apply and get their admitting privileges and move them along if they needed to do that," Sen. Mary Lazich (R - New Berlin) said.