Abortion foes do live ultrasounds in Idaho Capitol

BOISE, Idaho — House leaders have pulled the proposed abortion ultrasound mandate from a committee hearing.

What’s more, legislative leaders aren’t sure if the measure to require women getting an abortion to first have an ultrasound will be voted on in the 2012 Legislature.

The House State Affairs Committee had been set to debate the bill at 7:45 a.m.

But the committee’s chairman, Rep. Tom Loertscher, told minority Democrats the meeting had been canceled.

Republicans debated the merits of the bill in a closed-door caucus Wednesday on the Capitol’s fourth floor.

When they emerged around 5 p.m., House Speaker Lawerence Denney said no decision had been made about whether the measure would move forward this session.

The development comes after anti-abortion advocates staged a live ultrasound exhibition in the Capitol basement Wednesday.

Ultrasounds were perfomed on women in various stages of pregnancy inside in hopes of persuading lawmakers to require women considering an abortion to have a sonogram.

Wednesday’s event was preceded by a protest from foes who contend it’s an unnecessary intrusion of government.

An activist leading the exhibition urged opponents in the audience to be quiet. But one woman shouted that it’s against Idaho code to insert anything up a woman without her consent and several people had to be escorted out after objecting.

At least three of the 105 lawmakers attended: Sens. Sheryl Nuxoll and Mitch Toryanski and Rep. Janice McGeachin.

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