The Women’s Right to Know Act would require Pennsylvania women seeking abortions to receive an ultrasound within 24-hours of the scheduled procedure. It’s sparked a new health care debate at the state capitol. Supporters say women deserve to be informed; critics call it a legislative overreach.
Philadelphia Democrat Larry Farnese has added a new twist to conversation by introducing a bill he calls similarly invasive and unnecessary. Senator Farnese’s bill deals with men seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction. “Men who seek to have this medication will have to watch a video enumerating the side effects of ED medication, they’ll have to undergo a cardiac stress test, we’ll have to make them undergo a prostate exam,” Farnese says.
Farnese says his point is that Republicans’ attack on women’s health care has to stop. “Whether it’s ultrasounds or erectile dysfunction medication, I think that we should stay out of people’s lives.”
Democrats seized on governor Tom Corbett’s comments about the ultrasound bill last week. Here’s the entire exchange with WGAL-TV reporter Matt Belanger during the governor’s media availability:ultrasound
While Corbett’s ‘close your eyes’ reference received national media attention, we asked Sen. Farnese about the last portion of those comments. Would it make any difference to him if provisions in the bill ensured a more traditional external ultrasound as opposed to a transvaginal procedure?
“It’s absolutely positively unnecessary, at least in my opinion, whether it’s internal or external,” Farnese replied.
House leaders tabled the ultrasound legislation (HB 1077) earlier this month, prior to both Corbett’s comments and Farnese’s bill.