Thursday, November 26, 2015

Corbett says he supports 'external' ultrasounds for abortion patients

Gov. Corbett says he supports mandatory ultrasounds for abortion patients, the subject of one of the controversial pieces of legislation before the General Assembly

Corbett says he supports 'external' ultrasounds for abortion patients


Gov. Corbett says he supports mandatory ultrasounds for abortion patients, the subject of one of the most controversial pieces of legislation before the General Assembly.

Corbett said Tuesday he would support a bill that would force doctors to show women an ultrasound before an abortion is performed as long as it was not "obtrusive."

When asked what he meant by that, Corbett said: "As long as it's on the exterior and not the interior."

While sponsor Rep. Kathy Rapp (R., Forest) said her bill would require only ultrasounds on the belly, the language of the bill suggests it could also mandate a vaginal ultrasound, if the embryo is too small to be seen. (For more background read Marie McCullough's piece in the Inquirer here.)

The bill, which passed out of a House committee last month, was scheduled for a vote on the House floor this week.

The vote was cancelled in the House after objections were made by the Pennsylvania Medical Society, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynocologists. House Majority leader Mike Turzai (R., Allegheny) said lawmakers needed more time to study the issue.

The issue has been a flashpoint across the nation as anti-abortion groups have pushed similar bills - with success - in dozens of other states. Abortion rights supporters view the laws as demeaning and unnecessary.

Planned Parenthood says belly ultrasounds are routinely conducted on patients, but are done to determine the age of the fetus and what procedure to use, not to make them change their mind.

Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau is the latest to weigh in with a series of strips on the ultrasound issue, sparking controversy that led to several newspapers, including the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, to suspend his strip.


Click here for's politics page.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

Commonwealth Confidential
Also on
letter icon Newsletter