by Steven Ertelt
February 28, 2007
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — A bill to allow women considering an abortion the opportunity to see an ultrasound of their unborn child beforehand has passed through a second committee and is now headed to the Georgia state Senate. The measure is a top priority for pro-life groups wanting to further limit the number of abortions in the state.
Under the measure, abortion businesses must have an ultrasound machine on hand, purchase one, or refer women to another facility that has one and would allow the mother to see the ultrasound at no cost.
This is the second time the Senate has considered the bill, SB 66. It approved a previous version of it last year but the House eventually defeated it.
Nancy Schaefer, a Republican, is the lead sponsor of the measure. She says it would help women with an unplanned pregnancy make a better decision.
Used in pregnancy centers, ultrasounds have helped persuade most women to carry their pregnancy to term and Schaefer said she hoped her bill would do the same thing.
"Some women who see the image of their child do change their minds," she said.
The committee added an exception to the bill that would not make women who are victims of sexual abuse see the ultrasound of their baby but Schaefer said women in those circumstances may want to see the ultrasound anyway to know about their baby.
Sen. Nan Orrock, a pro-abortion Democrat, criticized Schaefer over that.
Rep. James Mills, a Gainesville Republican, has a similar bill in the state House and lawmakers recently feuded amongst themselves during a hearing on it.
The bill is the highest legislative priority for Georgia Right to Life for the session.
"This bill requires that an ultrasound be performed on each unborn child before an abortion," the pro-life group says on its web site.
"The mother would be offered an opportunity to view the ultrasound image of her unborn child. If the abortion facility does not have ultrasound equipment, the woman may be referred to a hospital or other facility that has the equipment," GRTL explains.