by Steven Ertelt
February 20, 2006
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Legislation that would allow women considering an abortion to see an ultrasound of their unborn child heads back to the state House after the Michigan state Senate revised the measure to change from a requirement to an option.
Instead of mandating that abortion practitioners to take an ultrasound image of the baby and provide it to women, it requires them to provide it only if they have determined it’s necessary.
Abortion facilities could decide an ultrasound would be helpful for determining the age of the unborn child before the abortion and, if they order one, they are obligated to show it to women considering an abortion.
The state House approved legislation with the mandate by a 69-37 vote in May, but some lawmakers are concerned pro-abortion Gov. Jennifer Granholm would veto the bill and the would not be enough votes to override it. Pro-life lawmakers would need 73 votes in the House.
Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd told the Detroit News in May that the governor opposes the bill because she claims it "places government in the middle of people’s most personal and intimate medical decisions."
So, the state Senate altered the requirement in December and changed the bill to simply provide the option. That measure received a 36-0 vote and now heads back to the House for approve before moving on to Granholm.
Backers of the House measure, such as Right to Life of Michigan, said that it’s needed because abortion facilities often withhold information from women considering an abortion. Most women who see an ultrasound image of their baby beforehand, opt against having an abortion.
"This is a commonsense measure that brings true choice to the abortion issue," Kristen Cella of the Michigan Catholic Conference, said. Her group also supports the legislation.
The ultrasound option would be added to Michigan’s informed consent law that requires abortion practitioners to provide women with information about abortion’s risks and alternatives 24 hours beforehand.
Republican Rep. David Robertson, the main sponsor of the ultrasound measure, says it’s a logical extension of that law, which has helped reduce the number of abortions.
The measure is House Bill 4446.