Idaho politics: The ultrasound debate, where callous meets clueless

Before Monday, I doubt anyone at the Huffington Post had heard of Chuck Winder.

The Boise Republican senator took care of that when he argued in favor of his bill to require women to get an ultrasound before an abortion — even in the case of rape.

Said Winder: “Rape and incest was used as a reason to oppose this. I would hope that when a woman goes into a physician, with a rape issue, that 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.”

Had he tried, I don’t think Winder could have found a more insensitive way to argue for his insensitive legislation. Winder is taking a well-earned pounding, not just on Huffington Post’s national Internet stage, but, closer to home, on his own Facebook page. Yes, he has since backtracked, saying he didn’t mean to question the honesty of rape victims. I’ve known Winder for more than 15 years, and I believe his regret is heartfelt.

But I also think he, however clumsily and unwittingly, has exposed his bill for all its flaws.

He exposed it as the kind of government meddling Republicans normally love to rail about when they get on their “nanny state” high horse. Winder at least implies that the Senate had to approve his bill as written, because women can’t be trusted to know if they’ve been raped. And that’s why 23 senators — 19 men, but also four women — felt the need to pass a bill that lacks even the humanity to make an exception for victims of a violent crime.

Winder also seems comfortable suggesting doctors should act as cops. They’re supposed to somehow find a delicate way to ask their patient if she’s telling the truth. Then they’re also supposed to look at the physical evidence, perhaps weeks after the fact, and figure out what happened. And 23 Republican senators, members of that purported party of limited government interference, endorsed this concept.

To put it mildly, Winder was callous. You would hope, wherever one stands on the issue of abortion, that we could at least agree that this is an agonizing, heartwrenching decision, not something pursued without thought or under false pretenses.

But Winder also was clueless. I don’t think he understands how hurtful and counterproductive his proposal really is. His bill interjects government into a private, personal decision — when all government can do is apply the heavy hand that conservatives (sometimes) decry.

In an interview with KIVI Channel 6 last week, Winder said he was advancing his bill because he believes government should speak up for the unborn, since the unborn can’t speak for themselves. The unborn deserve a more eloquent spokesperson, and a more sensitive advocate.

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heart AND head need to be in the right place

Just having the pure and true motives Winder keeps telling us he does is not sufficient. I recommend Marci Glass' conversation with Chuck Winder as one of the more important statements to come out of this awful exercise in imposing religious views on women. Here:

(Tried to write the link into clean HTML, but the s/w dude says "there are too many links in your comment. Please limit your links to 0." Sort of like the Republicans' support for freedom from big government control.)

This has nothing to do with...

religious views and everything to do with human life. 80% of this COUNTRY know it is murder. Sadly it is legal. We have every right to make selective abortion as difficult as possible. The unborn will still die but maybe, just maybe, one or two minds can be changed and a few will live. Have you thought about moving to China? Gosh, it would be paradise for you.

if that's your real goal

and I believe you, then shouldn't you be focusing on making birth control and sex education more obtainable?

What makes you think...

I'm not. Because I believe abortion is murder doesn't mean I don't beleive in supporting contraception methods. If these methods don't work for some reason or another, it's not reason enough to kill the unborn life.

It is NOT murder as defined

It is NOT murder as defined by law. It is your personal belief that compels YOU to call it that. YOUR religious beliefs are not, nor should be the basis for laws.

Why don't YOU move to China...'d have more to do. I'm sure all that meddling in other's personal decisions would be paradise for you.


I think the bill is MORE than just interjecting govt into a private decision.

It is an effort to persuade the woman to have a change of mind with the sole purpose of a religous agenda.

It is a hidden agenda not hidden so well.


And then if this doesn't work, we'll throw another layer on top.

Btw where is father's rights in the whole abortion debate?

If the sonogram changes the woman's mind, does the father have to pay support?

It's just a MESS the govt has no business in.

Fathers Rights

The US Supreme Court determined long ago that the father has no legal rights in the abortion decision, but does have to pay child support if the mother does not elect abortion. Idaho also gets birth costs & legal fees for medicaid mamas.


Planned Parenthood v. Casey

"...To promote the State’s profound interest in potential
life, throughout pregnancy the State may take measures to
ensure that the woman’s choice is informed, and measures
designed to advance this interest will not be invalidated as
long as their purpose is to persuade the woman to choose
childbirth over abortion. These measures must not be an
undue burden on the right...

Our prior decisions establish that as with any medical procedure,
the State may require a woman to give her written
informed consent to an abortion. See Planned Parenthood
of Central Mo. v. Danforth, 428 U. S., at 67....

The idea that important decisions
will be more informed and deliberate if they follow
some period of reflection does not strike us as unreasonable,
particularly where the statute directs that important information
become part of the background of the decision....

Even the broadest reading of Roe, however, has not suggested
that there is a constitutional right to abortion on demand.
See, e. g., Doe v. Bolton, 410 U. S., at 189. Rather,
the right protected by Roe is a right to decide to terminate
a pregnancy free of undue interference by the State. Because
the informed consent requirement facilitates the wise
exercise of that right, it cannot be classified as an interference
with the right Roe protects. The informed consent requirement
is not an undue burden on that right." - U.S. Supreme Court 1992

- - - -
Ultrasound laws are a reasonable extention of informed consent laws passed before prenatal ultrasounds became widely available and embraced by the medical profession.

If a rape victim goes to a Planned Parenthood clinic for an abortion, she must consent to having an ultrasound performed. No ultrasound, no abortion, is their policy. If PP's ultrasound requirement is not an undue burden on a woman's right, it is hard to see why this would suddenly become an undue burden just because the State adopts the same policy.

The difference is the

The difference is the invasive procedure. That's what's different.

No difference at all

Planned Parenthood uses vaginal ultrasounds in the earliest stages of pregnancy. If women object to this procedure, they are told they can wait until an abdominal ultrasound is practical. A regional spokesman for PP in Washington, D.C. was recently quoted as saying that if a woman is uncomfortable with a vaginal ultrasound, she will be really uncomfortable with the other abortion procedures. (Source: Alana Goodman, 2-22-12)

Clearly the argument that ultrasounds are an "invasive" procedure that no woman should be forced to endure is pure nonsense. You don't see pro-choice advocates protesting outside PP clinics do you?

the difference

Yes private provider policy is different than government policy/intrusion. Don't the republicans advocate less gov interference? Let the professionals handle these decisions please.

Either you are intellectually dishonest, or can never argue

against government mandates again. Which is it?

"No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government." Neil Peart

I'm going with the

I'm going with the intellectual dishonesty thing...though I doubt many really get what that is.

Have you lost it, Poet?

You seem to be saying that all government mandates are equal, that a person must either be for them all or against them all. That's just silly to the point of being unintellectual and you know it. I take it you are running out of intellectual arguments and decided to get off some wild shots.

Hey pimp....

see comment above.

Raising awareness

should never occur when killing babies.


it's not a baby yet. Very important to have this procedure done asap, before it becomes a baby.

Have you ever heard...

a pregnant woman EVER refer to a 8 week untasound picture of her unborn as anything but a baby? What is the matter with you?

I refer to my cat as my baby,

, that doesn't make him one legally or medically.


The sooner the better. Read up on the legal definition, that should help you.


The sooner the better. Read up on the legal definition, that should help you.

The degree to which Winder embarrassed Idaho cannot...

be understated. To everyone reading the Huffington Post, Winder IS Idaho, and it's as if he spoke in behalf of every person in the state. Consequently, many of the 11,000 or so derogatory HP comments can be summed as, "Oh, it's figures." I don't appreciate being tarred with the same brush, and I believe Winder owes moderate Idahoans an apology.

Winder owes all an apology

Mr. Winder owes all libertarian and true conservative Idahoans an apology. Mr. Winder and his ilk should remember "Government that governs least, governs best".

speaking of the unborn

They cannot speak because they do not exist.

The Huffington Post? Really KR......

even you can do better than that. You really do need to get out more often.

What's wrong with the Huffington Post?

With an online circulation of over 12 million? I realize it's no "Idaho Reporter", but it is interesting to note when one of our state legislators makes a national publication.
You don't have to like them to acknowledge they are a major media player in this country.

Cancelled? Bill dead?

just saw this:


is definitely canceled. That doesn't mean, definitively, that the bill is dead.

Kevin Richert
editorial page editor

Hey Kev...

when your sons marry and they show you the ultasound pictures of your grand children, I hope you realize these are the same images of unborn children killed every day of the year. Your daughter-in-law will rejoice in sharing these pictures with her family. Of course your daughter-in-law may be like the woman in the donesbury strip who doesn't give a crap about anything except herself. Will you be ok with a late term abortion of your eight pound grand baby two weeks before delivery? Of course you wouldn't be because you know it's murder. Do you think the creator of your favorite cartoon strip would object? Of course not.

Late term abortions

are only done when the mother's life is at high risk, or the child has such severe birth defects that it cannot survive out of the womb for more than a short and painful time. I myself think that forcing a baby to live a very short and very painful life only to die a horrible death, or killing it's mother is wrong, you may disagree.


will Winder Wonderland, AKA the Idaho Statehouse, produce in the way of entertainment today.

Personhood for unborn Idahoans

Just wait till Winder creates this bill for all you Idahoans..
So is Winder underwrtitng college for all the personhoods?

Difference between Islamic state and Idaho?

The older I get I believe that I should only vote for atheists. Atleast they would not expect me to have their religious beliefs.