by Steven Ertelt
March 9, 2005
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — When women who visit a pregnancy center see an ultrasound image of their unborn child, more than 90 percent decide against an abortion. Michigan lawmakers are hoping the same thing will happen if women visiting abortion facilities are shown one.
State Rep. Dave Robertson, a Republican, sponsored legislation he says is similar to an Alabama law that requires abortion businesses to provide women with an opportunity to see the development of their unborn child through an ultrasound.
Robertson emphasized to opponents of the bill that it would not require women to see the images, just to be given the option to do so.
"It would be very informative to the woman and she should be given that opportunity," Robertson said Wednesday, according to an Associated Press report. "I hope it will save women from the emotional agony of knowing they have aborted their baby."
The legislation will likely need to go through the House Health Policy Committee and chairman Ed Gaffney, also a Republican, said hearings on the measure likely won’t happen until next month, after legislators return from their two week break.
Sarah Scranton of Planned Parenthood of Michigan claims the proposal, House Bill 4446, is unnecessary because most women that come to her group’s abortion facilities do not want to see ultrasound photos of their unborn children.
"It would just be another hoop that a woman has to jump through when she has decided to have an abortion," Scranton said, according to the AP report.
Polls show women believe that ultrasounds are important for those considering abortion.
An August 2003 poll shows that an overwhelming majority (81 percent) of women support a pro-life bill that would fund grants to pregnancy centers in order to purchase ultrasound machines to show women contemplating abortion pictures of their developing baby.
Care Net President Kurt Entsminger said that, regardless of women’s views on abortion, "the vast majority agree that providing additional ultrasound services is worthwhile."
Nearly nine-in-ten women (87%) said that it is important for non-profit women’s health centers to provide ultrasound services, including a considerable majority (64%) who believe this is a "very important" priority.
Respondents also said it was important for women considering abortion to view ultrasound pictures.
Over half of those surveyed (51%) said that was important and 31% claim that seeing an "image of what’s inside" would make such a decision more difficult.
Commissioned by Care Net, the poll was conducted by The Polling Company and included 802 registered women voters.