The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would require ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. The bill does not include an exemption for victims of rape. According to the reproductive rights nonprofit Guttmacher Institute, 88 percent of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
During that time, fetuses are so small that doctors will employ trans-vaginal probes to conduct an internal ultrasound.
Sen. Whitney Westerfield, the bill’s sponsor, acknowledges that such a procedure could be traumatizing. “I think it probably would be traumatic, but I don’t know if those numbers are accurate. I don’t know where that data’s coming from. So I can’t say I know. But I know that the bill doesn’t require any particular method,” said Westerfield
Westerfield says this is the 10th year such a bill has cleared the Senate, only to routinely die in the Democratically controlled House.