Senate passes bill requiring ultrasound before abortion

MADISON (WITI) -- The State Senate passed Senate Bill 206 on Wednesday, June 12th. The bill requires women seeking an abortion to first view an ultrasound of their fetus before the procedure takes place.

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.

Prior the vote, there was vigorous debate on the matter. Democrats say the state has no business interfering with a woman making a legal health decision.

"Current law requires that the woman be told about alternatives; that the woman be given an ultrasound, told that it's available; that the woman be told about the heart beat," said Democratic Sen. Kathleen Vinehout.

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

"I think we ought to be doing a lot more. You're probably going to see a lot more laws from me because these clinics pull this crap: 'It's a blob of tissue. It's the best thing you could do. You're too young.' That's baloney," said Republican Sen. Mary Lazich.

In the end, 17 Republicans voted for the bill, 15 Democrats voted against it.

Planned Parenthood issued a statement saying "SB 206 is political interference at its worst. Politicians dictating medical procedures that go against best medical practice is the very definition of government intrusion. It's just a thinly veiled effort to shame and coerce women."

But Wisconsin Right to Life's Barbara Lyons is very pleased with the outcome.

"No question that we're pleased. We've heard far too often and too long from women who regret their abortions that they were told that their baby was a blob of tissue," said Lyons.

The bill now heads to the State Assembly. Republicans have a majority there -- and are expected to approve it.

Gov. Scott Walker says he supports the bill and will sign it into law when it reaches his desk.