In it, but not of it. TPM DC

Michigan GOP Backs Off Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill


The bill was introduced Tuesday by state Rep. Joel Johnson (R) and 22 fellow lawmakers, and swiftly received pushback from state Democrats and the reproductive rights group NARAL.

A spokeswoman for Michigan's House Minority Leader Tim Greimel (D) told TPM he "commends Speaker Bolger for standing up to the extremist right wing members of his caucus and rejecting this proposal to force women to undergo an invasive procedure that is unnecessary and unwarranted."

Republicans have a 59-51 majority in the state House. They control both chambers.

"We must increase the value of life in Michigan because all life is valuable and no life is disposable," Bolger said. "No matter a person's beliefs regarding abortions, I hope we in Michigan can come together on goals we can all agree on."

Ari Adler, a spokesman for Speaker Bolger, told TPM that the Republican wants to leave no room for doubt that the proposal will not move forward.

"One issue that some other reporters have asked is why the statement didn't address the specific bill," Adler said in an email. "The answer is that Speaker Bolger wanted to unequivocally address the issue at hand, which is mandating transvaginal ultrasounds for women who are considering an abortion. The mandate is unacceptable, regardless of who the sponsor is or what bill number the legislation carries."

The bill's chief sponsor also backed off the transvaginal ultrasound component.

"Representative Johnson remains open to amendments that would make it clear that this legislation is not intended to mandate transvaginal ultrasounds," said Ben Frederick, a legislative aide to Rep. Johnson. "This has never been the intent of the bill."

This article has been updated since the time of publication.