State Farm Committee OKs Bills on Abortion


     SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) - An Illinois farming committee approved two anti-abortion bills, while opponents watched, wearing T-shirts stating: "Women are not livestock."
     The Illinois House Agriculture & Conservation Committee overwhelmingly passed both bills this week and sent them to the state House floor.
     The committee usually deals with hog farm and irrigation issues, but often is assigned bills involving gun-owner rights, abortion restrictions and other hot issues due to the committee's conservative tendency.
     One bill would require doctors to take an ultrasound of the fetus and offer to show it to the woman, who could decline in writing.
     Supporters say that seeing the ultrasound might cause a woman to change her mind. Opponents claim that requiring a woman to decline seeing the ultrasound in writing could be traumatic. One doctor testified the measure could force rape victims to undergo vaginal ultrasound probes that are not medically necessary, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
     The other bill would require clinics that perform abortions to have the same building standards and other rules required of other types of medical facilities. Supporters claim the measure would protect women's health.
     Opponents call it a thinly veiled attempt to put abortion clinics out of business.