by Steven Ertelt
March 13, 2008
Pierre, SD (LifeNews.com) — South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds has signed a pro-life bill into law that requires abortion practitioners there to allow women considering an abortion a chance to seen an ultrasound of the baby beforehand. Pro-life lawmakers hope the measure will help further reduce the number of abortions in the state.
The House approved SB 88 last month after 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.