The state Senate in Idaho today passed a bill mandating an ultrasound for any woman seeking an abortion. The legislation prompted a protest on the capitol steps a couple of weeks ago, and last week a senate hearing room was packed as the State Affairs Committee approved the bill, 7-2, along party lines. 

      The Spokesman-Review

      The crowded senate hearing room as the Senate State Affairs Committee debated Idaho’s mandatory ultrasound bill last week.

      But today’s vote in the full senate wasn’t entirely along party lines. All seven Democrats in the Idaho State Senate were joined by five Republicans in voting against the bill.

      State Sen. James Hammond was among the five Republicans to cross party lines. He had this to say to his fellow Republicans:

       “I hope this bill isn’t just another litmus test to prove that you’re truly a conservative. There seems to be a presumption that a woman considering abortion is uninformed and needs government guidance. … But I would submit that rather than government guidance, their guidance should come from their physician and their family and their clergy.”

      The final tally was 23-12 in favor of the new ultrasound requirement. The measure now goes to the Idaho House where there are 57 Republicans and 13 Democrats