Sen. Tim Neville, R-Littleton, distributed flyers on the Senate floor Thursday announcing that a mobile pregnancy counseling clinic, equipped with ultrasound technology, would be parked across the street from the Capitol in the hours leading up to an afternoon hearing on his bill. The measure would mandate patients receive an ultrasound, an offered photo of the fetus and a detailed description of the development of a fetus’s nerve endings and its ability to feel pain. Then, the patient would have to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion.
Sen. Irene Aguilar, D-Denver, who is a physician, asked why the men were being left out. She pointed out that the guys might want to get their testicles, prostates and scrotums scanned for possible cancer.
Minority Leader Sen. Morgan Carroll, D-Denver, was not amused by the mobile clinic. She was livid.
“I think it’s shocking and offensive,” she said.
Neville is not the only male Republican in the Senate who’s a fan of these “mobile crisis pregnancy resource” vans. Sen. Owen Hill, R-Coloardo Springs, is on the board of a company called “Save the Storks” which aims to park the vans outside abortion clinics.
For his part, Neville insisted that the whole effort is only about education and shouldn’t be so divisive.
“When it comes to something that’s so critical, a decision that you really can’t undo once you make it, why wouldn’t we want to give people as much information as possible?” he asked.
Carroll disagreed, saying the bill singles out a politically charged medical procedure to the detriment of women’s rights.
“In this bill they will force medical procedures on you without your consent thinking they have a right to force you to sit down, get biased indoctrination and then make you wait before you exercise your constitutional rights,” she said.
SB 285 is scheduled for public hearing this afternoon in the Health and Human Services Committee.
The mobile clinic outside the Capitol. Photo by Tessa Cheek.