by Steven Ertelt
March 20, 2006
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — Pro-abortion Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm says she will sign a bill that will allow women to see an ultrasound of their unborn child prior to having an abortion. The move is somewhat of a surprise because Granholm has vetoed virtually every other piece of pro-life legislation state lawmakers have approved.
The bill originally mandated that abortion practitioners should take an ultrasound image of the baby and provide it to women, but the bill was later changed to only require them to provide it if they have determined it’s necessary.
Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd told the Associated Press that change made the bill palatable for the governor.
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.
Pro-life groups support the bill saying it is an improvement on current informed consent law that provides women only pictures of fetal development, and not images of their own child.
They point to statistics showing that women who see an ultrasound of their baby overwhelmingly opt against having an abortion.
"This is very good news," Pamela Sherard, director of Right to Life of Michigan, told The Detroit News. "Now, mothers will see what’s actually going on."
"We’ve talked to many women who’ve had abortions and many of them feel they have been forced to get abortions," she added.
Though the change was made to get Granholm’s support, it didn’t satisfy pro-abortion groups like the ACLU, which opposes the legislation.
Kary Moss, executive director of the ACLU’s state branch told AP that allowing women to see an ultrasound image is one more of the "small, incremental steps … all designed to put up barriers" to abortion.
Though the ACLU filed suit against the Right to Know law and prevented women for years from getting information on abortion’s risks and alternatives, Moss said no lawsuit against the ultrasound bill is currently planned.
Before the change, Boyd told the Detroit News in May that the governor opposed the bill because she claims it "places government in the middle of people’s most personal and intimate medical decisions."
Kristen Cella of the Michigan Catholic Conference said her group also supports the legislation.
The Senate unanimously approved the bill and the House backed it on a 84-21 vote.
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.
The measure is House Bill 4446.