Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a ban on abortion after 20 weeks into law today at 9:30 a.m., and within hours state Republicans introduced another bill, HB59, to ban abortions as early as six weeks.
As ThinkProgress points out, detecting a heartbeat after six weeks requires the use of a transvaginal ultrasound.
So-called “heartbeat” bills are so radical that they divide the anti-choice community. In addition to criminalizing the vast majority of abortions, they also mandate invasive ultrasound procedures for women seeking abortions. In order to detect a fetal heartbeat so early in a pregnancy, doctors typically have to use a transvaginal probe.
More than an ban on abortion after six weeks, this could also be described as a mandate for transvaginal probes.
The bill was introduced by State Representatives Phil King (R), Dan Flynn (R), and Geanie Morrison (R) who will have until July 31st, when the current special legislative session ends, to pass it. Governor Rick Perry called the current special session after their attempt to pass the 20 week abortion ban was thwarted by Wendy Davis during the first special session.
Could there be a third?
“Now if the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars then every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, so then we’d have a problem with caterpillars. I mean, the fact of the matter is it’s a fiction.” -RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on the War on Women