by Steven Ertelt
March 24, 2008
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — Governor Ted Strickland has signed an abortion bill that helps give women information about their unborn child they don’t normally receive from an abortion center. It requires the abortion practitioner to give mothers considering an abortion an opportunity to view an ultrasound of the baby beforehand.
When used in pregnancy centers, ultrasounds help persuade most women to seek abortion alternatives and Ohio pro-life lawmakers and groups hope the bill will help reduce abortions further.
Strickland, who is a longtime abortion advocate, may have surprised some pro-life people by signing the bill. The law takes effect in 90 days.
However, he may have signed it knowing the legislature had enough votes in both chambers to override a veto.
The Ohio House approved the Ultrasound Viewing Option Bill, H.B. 314, in December on a 73-20 margin. On March 14, the Senate followed suit by approving the bill 24 to 8.
The governor may also have signed the bill because pro-abortion groups took no position on it — claiming abortion centers already give women the option to view an ultrasound.
"We made a decision not to oppose or support it," Kellie Copeland, executive director of NARAL’s Ohio affiliate, told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It’s a bit silly and unnecessary to pass a law requiring clinics to do something that they already do."
Ohio Right to Life strongly supported the measure, telling LifeNews.com, "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."
Rep. Shannon Jones, a Springboro Republican, was the main sponsor of the legislation.
South Dakota Gov. Mike Rounds signed a similar bill into law earlier this month and, with Ohio’s new statute, 13 states now have ultrasound measures in place related to abortion.
Mary Spaulding Balch, a pro-life attorney who is the director of state legislation for National Right to Life, tells LifeNews.com that abortion rates will continue to decline as more states put these ultrasound provisions in place.
"This bill is reflective of a national trend that recognizes the ability of ultrasound technology to provide mothers with the opportunity to see the development of their unborn child in real-time," she said.
Balch said the bill does a good job at giving women contemplating an abortion the kind of information abortion businesses don’t normally give them.
According to National Right to Life, eleven other states have similar laws in place. Those include Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin.
Louisiana requires allowing women to see an ultrasound in cases when the mother is considering an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
"The abortion decision is one which cannot be undone and women deserve to have all the facts," Balch told LifeNews.com. "We continue to urge other states to join in this trend and protect women and their unborn children."
Related web sites:
Ohio Right to Life – https://www.ohiolife.org