State Rep Furious Over ‘Hostile Amendments’ To Pre-Abortion Ultrasound Bill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — A bill to require abortion doctors in Illinois to offer the mother a view of an ultrasound is under attack, by lawmakers attaching hostile amendments.

The bill, HB 4085, would require a woman to view an ultrasound image of her fetus before getting an abortion, or decline to do so in writing.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Joe Lyons (D-Chicago) passed out of the state House Agriculture Committee by a vote of 11-2 last month.

But five amendments to the bill have now been approved in committee.

One amendment, sponsored by Rep. Naomi Jakobsson (D-Champaign) would tighten regulations on who can perform ultrasounds, and another by Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) would require disclosure of the cost of the ultrasound.

A third amendment by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) would extend the ultrasound requirement to dozens of other medical procedures, “including, but not limited to any cardiac, cardiac, renal, liver, gallbladder, vascular, abdominal, obstetric, gynecological, muscle, ligament, tendon, eye, testicle, salivary gland, lymph node, breast, liver, kidney, and joint diagnosis or treatment.”

A fourth amendment by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) would expand the counseling requirement to men seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction, and a fifth, by Rep. Mary E. Flowers (D-Chicago) would tie insurance coverage of erectile dysfunction drugs to that of birth control pills.

Lyons asked the amendments’ sponsors if they would be willing to co-sponsor the entire bill, and all five said they would be unlikely to do so.

“That’s what you call, ladies and gentlemen, a hostile amendment to kill a bill,” Lyons concluded.

Lyons asked the lawmakers to withdraw their amendments and simply debate the bill in the full House.

“If you want to kill my bill, kill it on the House floor,” he said.

Cassidy explained her amendment about requiring counseling for erectile dysfunction as well as abortion earlier this month.

Her amendment advises that before getting a prescription, men should see a visual depiction of priapism, the most common side effect of Viagra use, in which a man’s erection does not go down for a period of more than six hours. Such a provision is only fair if women are to be forced to get ultrasounds before getting abortions, Cassidy said.

“If we are going to do this, we need to do it in a way that is applied equally,” Cassidy said earlier this month, adding that she is tired of politicians deciding that “women are incapable of making their own decisions.”

In calling for the ultrasound requirement, Lyons said his goal was to save the lives of unborn fetuses who might be aborted.

“There might be a little fraction of women who might want to see that ultrasound, who might change their minds. If it saves one life in Illinois, I’m for it,” he says.

Similar bills have been generating controversy around the country.

Earlier this month, Virginia Gov. Bob McConnell sighed a bill that requires women to view an ultrasound before getting an abortion. That bill has drawn particular criticism for its requirement that some women undergo an invasive transvaginal ultrasound probe.

A similar law is also on the books in Texas, where a woman must undergo a sonogram and hear a doctor’s verbal description of what she is seeing – and even ask the patient if she wants to hear the fetal heartbeat – before an abortion can be performed.

  • Me

    Interesting its only Dems doing this.

    I kind of agree with the first 2 amendments…disclose the cost and better regulation on who does the ultrasound. The other 3 are frivolous and truly intended to kill the bill.

  • Barbara Miller

    I don’t understand the Democrats opposition to this. Are they getting kick backs from abortion drs ? I am pro choice, but wish that women would not chose to have an abortion. I would rather that they used reliable birth control in the first place, and chose adoption over abortion. I feel that it is resonable for women to know that what is happening to the fetus. If, after the sonagram they chose to go ahead with the procedure, then fine. No wonder Illinois is a joke to the rest of the country.

    • Todd

      Since they don’t have to get the ultrasound, they can opt out in writing, I don’t see what the big deal is either, except that its none of the government’s business.

  • Randyff

    One Question. Wh is a bill, desgned to harass women into a medical choice, being pushed thru the agriculture committe?

  • Jim

    These people who are trying to make getting an abortion more and more difficult are nothing more than self rightous prudes. Stop worrying what other people are doing with their bodies and worry only about yourself! I despise anti-abortion nuts! Get a damn life!!!!

  • Don

    This is just another stupid attack on women’s rights. Why are they wasting their time on something like this instead of important things like improving the state’s economy, bringing jobs back to our state and fixing the budget deficit.
    Just another example of the stupidity of politicians on both sides of the aisle.

  • Barry Aldridge

    I would offer an amendment requiring a rectal probe ultrasound of the prostate before any man could get any kind of treatment for erectile dysfunction. Sound ridiculous and intrusive? Well, that’s what these anti-women bills are, too.

    • Martin

      While this bill is one of the more stupid things this state has considered, and that’s saying a lot, equating ED with an abortion is silly. One is a surgical procedure with all of its dangers, regardless of the the issue of is the fetus ‘alive’. The other is a medication. If you require a video or probe for ED meds, the slippery slope of ANY medication now requiring probes\video-watching will have been breached.

      We do not need the government playing with our bodies. Having never been in to an abortion clinic, I can only guess, but I bet there is plenty of information for the mother to use to reach her decision, hopefully balanced between the pros and cons of the procedure.

  • Monique

    These amendments are ridiculous. What’s wrong with offering a woman a little more information before she makes such a significant decision as abortion? I have friends who have had abortions, and some of them were rushed into it by other people and now have serious regrets. It’s the kind of decision that you can’t take back, so offering the opportunity for more info is good. These Dems obviously don’t have women’s best interests in mind – they probably get big money from abortion advocates.


    I can not understand why a woman would have to view an ultra sound to get an abortion or why the side affects of viagra should be shown to a man before his prescription is filled. If a woman wants to get an abortion, that is her right and nobody’s else business. If a man wants and needs to take viagra, that is his business, not yours. The Dem’s got this all wrong.

    • Monique

      She doesn’t have to view it, it’s just offered to her.

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