Wis. Senate passes bill requiring ultrasounds for women seeking abortions

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The Wisconsin state Senate approved a bill Wednesday morning mandating that women seeking abortions get ultrasounds.

After hours of debate Tuesday, Democrats used a procedural move to block a final vote. The debate continued shortly after 8 a.m. and was quickly shutdown by Republicans after about 30 minutes.

The bill passed 17-15 with all Republicans in support and Democrats against.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the proposed legislation will go to the Assembly Thursday. If passed, Republican Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday he'd sign it.

The measure would require that a physician or ultrasound technician display a sonogram, or the ultrasound's image, and describe to the patient the heartbeat and physical description of the fetus, according to the newspaper. The woman would not be required to look at the image.

Cases of rape, incest and imminent medical emergencies are the exceptions.

The bill would also require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, which threatens one of Wisconsin's four abortion clinics.

Planned Parenthood said if the measure becomes law, they would be forced to close its Appleton clinic.

According to the Associated Press, Republican supporters claim the requirement is necessary so that women seeking an abortion will make an informed decision, while Democrat opponents say it's intrusive and unnecessary.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, Wisconsin would become the ninth state to require women seeking abortions to get ultrasounds and the eighth state to mandate hospital admitting privileges for doctors performing abortions, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

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