by Steven Ertelt
December 11, 2007
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — Ohio legislators in the state House will vote on a bill Wednesday that would require abortion practitioners to give women 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.
The Ultrasound Viewing Option Bill, H.B. 314, may receive a vote in the Ohio House Health Committee.
Should lawmakers on the panel approve the measure, the full state House is expected to debate and vote on it later in the day.
Rep. Shannon Jones, a Springboro Republican, is the main sponsor of the legislation, which would require that abortion practitioners show women an ultrasound if one has been done prior to the abortion.
Jones introduced her bill in September and said 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.
Pro-life organizations support the legislation and Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati told LifeNews.com that "just as patients are often shown x-rays before surgery, ultrasounds provide scientifically accurate information that women should have an opportunity to view in order to make a more informed decision about abortion."
RLGC’s director Paula Westwood said ultrasound is a "wonderful technology" that "should be available for all mothers to at least see their baby."
Sen. Joy Padgett, a Republican from Coshocton is the lead sponsor of the Senate version of the bill.
She previously told the Cincinnati Enquirer, "My hope is that when women have all the information in front of them, they may make a different decision."
"They’re choosing to have elective surgery. Isn’t it just right that they be given access to this information?" Padgett added.
Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio claims the bill 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.
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.