by Steven Ertelt
February 21, 2008
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — A bill that would require abortion practitioners to allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before an abortion now heads to Governor Mike Rounds. The legislature approved the bill hoping it would help persuade more women to consider keeping their baby as opposed to abortion.
The House approved SB 88 that the Senate had already supported on a 21-13 vote.
With advances in the technology, ultrasounds images show the humanity of the unborn child in a way that Planned Parenthood normally doesn’t explain.
The measure allows women a chance to sign a statement saying they were offered a chance to view the ultrasound and abortion practitioners would be held accountable for following the law.
Rep. Roger Hunt, one of the backers of the bill, told the Rapid City Journal that it is needed because everything must be done to prevent as many abortions as possible.
"This is a surgical procedure that ends the life of an unborn child in the womb," he said.
But Kate Looby, director of Planned Parenthood in South Dakota, which runs the lone abortion center in the state in Sioux Falls, condemned the measure.
We are in favor of women receiving all of the information they need to make private health care decisions," Looby said. "Were opposed to politicians like Roger Hunt practicing medicine.
The measure requires abortion practitioners to note the date and time of the offer to view the ultrasound and women have a chance to say in writing that they don’t want to see it.
It would also require an annual report to the state health department on the number of times a woman was shown or declined to see the ultrasound and what percentage of women in each category ultimately had an abortion.
As LifeNews.com reported last year, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee defeated a similar measure even though the State House approved the bill on a 43-24 vote.
However, lobbying from the State Medical Association resulted in the bill’s defeat on a 5-2 vote. The group is opposing the bill again this year.