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Civil Liberties

‘Douche du Jour’: Chuck Winder, Idaho GOP Senator, Suggests Women Use Rape as Excuse for Abortions

A Republican state senator from Idaho who sponsored a bill which would require women seeking abortions for any reason to undergo a mandatory ultrasound has raised eyebrows and ire by suggesting that women use rape as an excuse to terminate their pregnancies.

According to the Huffington Post, Sen. Chuck Winder of Boise asked if women even understand when they’ve been raped.

“Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this,” Winder said of his bill. “I would hope that when a woman goes in to a physician with a rape issue, that physician will indeed ask her about perhaps her marriage, was this pregnancy caused by normal relations in a marriage or was it truly caused by a rape. I assume that’s part of the counseling that goes on.”

Winder’s controversial bill would require all women seeking abortions, including rape and incest victims as well as those with medical emergencies, to first submit to an ultrasound exam from a list of state-approved providers. Nearly all such providers in Idaho are “crisis pregnancy centers,” which operate with the agenda of discouraging abortions.

If the woman seeking an abortion is in her first trimester of pregnancy, she would also need to obtain a second ultrasound involving a highly invasive transvaginal procedure in which a long wand is inserted inside her. She would, of course, have the option of looking away from the ultrasound image, but her doctor would be forced to describe the fetus in detail.

Supporters of the measure claim it will protect unborn children, but opponents say it forces doctors to perform medically unnecessary procedures and would increase the emotional stress experienced by women already forced to make very difficult decisions.

Winder’s bill passed the Senate by a vote of 23-12, with all seven Democrats and five Republicans casting dissenting votes. The House, which is controlled by Republicans, is also expected to approve the measure, which would then head to Republican Governor Clement Leroy “Butch” Otter’s desk.

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