Democrats Denounce Tracy's Ultrasound Bill

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It took them long enough, but today Democrats finally got around to denouncing Sen. Jim Tracy's bill to force women to undergo ultrasounds before abortions. Under the bill, if the woman declines to look at the ultrasound image, her physician is required to describe the fetus to her.

All of this is necessary merely to beef up Tracy's bona fides as a right-wing maniac so he can challenge Congressman Scott DesJarlais in the next Republican primary. You'll recall DesJarlais, a physician himself, pretends to be pro-life but we learned last year he pressured at least one patient with whom he had an affair to have an abortion.

“Tennessee’s women should not have to suffer more intrusive laws that violate their right to privacy just so Sen. Tracy can polish his conservative credentials in his race against Congressman Scott DesJarlais,” said Rep. Sherry Jones, D-Nashville, in a Democratic press release. “Republicans have spent the past three years complaining about how the government shouldn’t stand between a patient and their doctor, but with this legislation, that is exactly what they are trying to do.”

According to the Democrats, Tracy's bill is nearly identical to a law passed in 2010 by the Oklahoma State Legislature. That law required the doctor to perform an ultrasound and describe the fetus to the patient. In December, the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that declared this law violates that state's constitution.

“If Sen. Tracy is truly interested in preventing abortions, he should take the money that we will have to pay to defend this potentially unconstitutional law, and put it towards preventative contraception, prenatal health care, and pre-K education,” Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, said. “As a woman and a teacher, I wish my fellow legislators would focus less time on trying to play doctor, and more time on helping women gain access to quality health care, a good education, and higher-paying jobs.”

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