Just weeks after a similar bill in Virginia was altered in the face of a national outcry, the Illinois House of Representatives is now considering a bill that would coerce women into undergoing an invasive and medically unnecessary procedure known as a transvaginal ultrasound as a part of "informed consent" before having an abortion.1 At their own expense.
We're asking all of our members in Illinois — whether their representative is pro-choice or anti-choice — to send this message to their legislator.
Anti-choice legislators who support this bill need to know that their constituents will hold them accountable for their vote. And pro-choice legislators are under tremendous pressure from the right wing — they need to be able to say constituents are overwhelmingly supportive of their decision to vote against this bill.
Representative Senger needs to needs to hear from as many constituents as possible that any legislation that attempts to coerce women into having an invasive and medically unnecessary ultrasound before having an abortion should be defeated.
If this legislation — offensively named the "Ultrasound Opportunity Act" — passes, any woman who refuses to take the state up on this invasive ultrasound "opportunity" has to do so in writing, on a state-provided form that would then be collected and stored by the state. And the state would require clinics and physicians to track and report the number of women who refuse to be violated by the state before having an abortion.2
This anti-woman bill has already passed the Illinois House Agriculture Committee. Yes, you read that right — the Agriculture committee, because apparently the supporters of this legislation are so regressive in their thinking that they believe they should treat women like cattle. The House is back in session today, and a vote could happen any day now. We only have a short window of time to flood the House with the message that HB 4085 must be defeated.
This bill is nothing more than another attempt by anti-woman extremists in the states to make it harder for women to access abortion services. If this bill successfully passes the Illinois legislature, other states will be encouraged to begin to introduce equally reactionary bills. We can't let this legislation pass and set off a chain reaction around the U.S.