by Steven Ertelt
May 25, 2005
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Members of the Michigan state House overwhelmingly approved legislation that would require abortion businesses to allow women considering an abortion to first see an ultrasound of their unborn child before performing one.
The House approved the measure on a 69-37 vote and it now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
State Representative Dave Robertson, the lead sponsor, said his bill allows women to get fetal development information they might otherwise not receive. He also hopes the ultrasound will help women rethink their abortion decision.
"It would be very informative to the woman and she should be given that opportunity," Robertson said, according to an Associated Press report. "I hope it will save women from the emotional agony of knowing they have aborted their baby."
A spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan said his group opposed the measure, House Bill 4446, and could possibly file a legal challenge if it becomes law.
Sarah Scranton of Planned Parenthood of Michigan claims the proposal is unnecessary because most women that come to her group’s abortion facilities do not want to see ultrasound photos of their unborn children.
Michigan currently has a Right to Know law, which allows women certain information about abortion alternatives and abortion risks not normally given out by abortion practitioners.
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.