You may know that Alabama state Sen. Clay Scofield, a male Republican from Arab who lacks a uterus, has proposed legislation that would require some women seeking an abortion to first undergo an invasive procedure called a transvaginal ultrasound. Scofield has now backed off of the probe requirement and said he’s willing to make the procedure optional, but that didn’t stop Alabama House minority leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) from attacking Scofield’s legislation in a press release on Monday.
“I believe every American should have the right to refuse a medical procedure,” Ford said in the press release, which is available on the Alabama House Democratic Caucus Facebook page. “But the Republican Vaginal Ultrasound bill forces women to undergo an invasive medical procedure against their will. Not only that, this procedure can cause health problems for the baby and even endanger the baby’s life should the mother change her mind after the procedure and decide not to have the abortion.”
In the release, Ford says he is a Christian who is opposed to abortion, but chides the Republicans for not heeding small government principles and for overreaching. Ford attacks the bill, noting that it does not have exceptions for medical issues or for cases of sexual assault.
Ford also said Scofield’s legislation is unnecessary due to an existing law, the Women’s Right to Know Act. That law “requires physicians to perform a standard, non-invasive ultrasound on a mother before performing an abortion,” Ford said. “This law also requires physicians to provide mothers with lists of adoption agencies and alternatives to abortions, as well as notifying mothers of the health risks of having an abortion.”
Weld has a call in at Ford’s office to ask if he’d still be opposed to the bill if Scofield drops the ultrasound requirement.
An earlier version of this post said Sen. Clay Scofield was from Cullman. He was born in Cullman, but serves as the Senator from Arab. We apologize for the error.