Alabama Senator Backs Off Forced Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound Bill, But Alabama Women Aren’t Backing Down

Unable to say the word "vaginal," one of the authors of the forced trans-vaginal ultrasound bill in Alabama says he will pull it.  But the women of Alabama won't stand for replacing it with forced abdominal ultrasounds or any other form of coercion.

Senator Clay Scofield. [img src]

Senator Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) said Monday he would be pulling the bill that would have required a woman to undergo a trans-vaginal ultrasound in order to obtain an abortion in Alabama.

Apparently unable to use the word “vaginal” Scofield said of his decision to pull the bill, “It wasn’t my intention to require any certain ultrasound.”

Though the legislation had been under a microscope since last year, Scofield inexplicably claimed, “Had this [forced vaginal ultrasounds] been brought to my attention sooner, clarifications and modifications would have been made.”

But Mary Posey is not impressed.  She told Rewire, “This is a rally for Alabama voters to show Sen. Scofield that we will not be appeased by amendments or a substitution to SB12. It must be withdrawn.”

Posey is one of the organizers of a an anti- SB12 rally scheduled for Thursday in Montgomery.  The rally is expected to draw around 100 people.

Echoing growing sentiment by women across the country, Posey said,  “It is also our message to all Alabama legislators that our votes will not go to anyone who supports this bill or any similar bill seeking to interfere with women’s health care, an issue that should be left up to the woman and her physician.”

Posey wants even more attention drawn to these non-victories, the retreat from radical, invasive state-sanctioned rape bills to “merely” forcing an abdominal ultrasound:

“We want this bill and other bills like it pulled from consideration, debate, and vote. We want our legislators to know that our votes will not go to anyone who supports these anti-women’s rights bills.”

This was played out recently in Virginia.  A rally against Virginia’s ultrasound law turned into an occasion to call out the riot police.  

“About a thousand women’s rights protesters descended on the state Capitol Saturday afternoon to protest anti-abortion legislation in the General Assembly, and then things got ugly,” reports Style Weekly’s Vernal Colman.

“About 20 State Police officers, many in swat gear with face shields and body armor, were called in to assist Capitol Police in controlling the crowd. Some of the State Police officers wore green camouflage and carried rifles and canisters of tear gas (no tear gas was used, however). After being warned to vacate the south steps of the Capitol, police officers arrested 31 people — 14 men and 17 women — on charges ranging from unlawful assembly to trespassing, according to Capitol Police.”

Late last month Alabama Senator Linda Coleman told Rewire, “you can’t tell me forcing a probe into a woman’s vagina against her consent is anything but rape. You can put icing on it, dress it up, but this is the forced penetration of a woman’s vagina without her consent.”

Coleman was outraged over the introduction of the bill. Now that it has passed out of committee it moves to the full floor for debate and vote. 

Alabama media is rightfully honing in on one of SB12’s champion’s Senator Greg Reed. Reed supports SB12, and is also president of a medical device company that sells the equipment required by the bill.  

From an article last week in Rewire:  

Senator Coleman also said the committee Chairman, Senator Greg Reed is, conveniently, president of a company that makes ultrasound equipment. Senator Reed denies that his company, Preferred Medical Services, will profit at all from the state-sanctioned rape bill because, he says, his company doesn’t do business with abortion providers.  

A call to Preferred Medical Systems could not confirm if the organization sells to abortion providers or not.  The receptionist said she had “no idea” if the company has a policy barring the sale of its equipment to clinics that provide abortions.  However she said she would try to locate the right person to speak with for clarification on what Senator Reed says is company policy.  

When asked if the rally in Alabama had the potential to turn into a Virginia-like rally complete with police in SWAT gear, Posey said, “I imagine a police presence will be at our rally and I have no problem with that. We fully intend to stay for the duration of our permit and then disperse.”

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