by Steven Ertelt
October 17, 2007
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — Two companion bills filed in the Ohio legislature would require abortion practitioners to give women considering an abortion the option of seeing an ultrasound of their developing baby. Backers of the bill hope the ultrasounds will remind women of the humanity of their unborn child and encourage them against an abortion.
Sen. Joy Padgett, a Republican from Coshocton is the lead sponsor of the Senate version of the bill and she and Sen. Gary Cates and Rep. Shannon Jones, also Republicans, are set to testify for their legislation today.
"My hope is that when women have all the information in front of them, they may make a different decision," Jones said, according to a Cincinnati Enquirer news report. "They’re choosing to have elective surgery. Isn’t it just right that they be given access to this information?"
Jones introduced her bill last month and told the newspaper that one woman who had an abortion and regretted her decision thanked her because she may have decided against it had she had the ultrasound information beforehand.
The bills have drawn strong opposition from abortion advocates, including Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio, who claims it is unnecessary because women can simply ask their staff for an ultrasound before the abortion.
"With all the work that probably needs to be done in Columbus, why (are) they wasting their time on something women already have access to?" Becki Brenner, president and chief executive officer of the abortion business, told the Enquirer.
"We honor that request and give her any kind of referral that she may request and wish her well," Brenner claimed about women’s desires to choose alternatives to abortion.
Pro-life groups including Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati and Ohio Right to Life support the bill and RLGC’s director Paula Westwood said ultrasound is a "wonderful technology" that "should be available for all mothers to at least see their baby."
Should the legislature approve the bills and combine them into one version to send to Gov. Ted Strickland, they may face a veto because he backs abortion.