North Dakota Bill Would Allow Women to See Ultrasound of Baby Before Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
January 15, 2009
Fargo, ND (LifeNews.com) — A new bill in the North Dakota legislature would allow women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child prior to an abortion. Abortion facilities don’t always show women the development of their baby and, when used in pregnancy centers, about 85 percent of women decide against an abortion.
Rep. Bette Grande, a Fargo Republican, is the main sponsor of the bill and she called it another method to help reduce the number of abortions.
What I’m hoping is that they (women) will see what they have inside their womb, she said, according to an AP report.
They will know that they have a living, viable, wonderful child within them and that they will know that they want to continue on carrying that life and give it every opportunity that it has available," she explained.
But Tammi Kromenaker, director of the Red River Womens Clinic, the only abortion center in the state, claims it has offered women ultrasounds starting a year ago and that there is no need for the bill. She claims most women aren’t interested.
We think its really ridiculous, Kromenaker told AP about the bill and claimed it is a "delay tactic" to make women wait for an abortion.
Mary Spaulding Balch, an attorney with the National Right to Life Committee who monitors state legislation, says 18 states have passed similar bills to provide women the additional pre-abortion information.
Generally, giving that opportunity is to everyones benefit, Balch said, and also noted the trend towards choosing life after an ultrasound.
The House Human Services Committee will hold a hearing on the bill, which requires women to be given the chance to see the ultrasound 24 hours ahead of time.
Pro-life advocates say the bill is important because the Red River Womens Clinic is expected to set a record for the number of abortions it is doing annually.
The abortion center has been doing abortions for just over ten years and did a record 1,358 abortions in 2003 and another 1,238 abortions last year.
Kromenaker admitted in October that the center is on pace for its highest number of annual abortions and is doing about 25 abortions a week. She contends the number of abortions is on the rise because college students have seen funding for birth control and contraception cut.
Red River came under fire in August 2004 for refusing to divulge information about an apparently bogus malpractice insurance policy it purchased from an illegitimate Bermuda-based company.
Jim Poolman, the state’s Insurance Commissioner, issued a subpoena to obtain the records when Jane Bovard, the owner of the abortion business, refused to provide them.
The investigation set off a national scandal over whether other abortion businesses across the country have legitimate malpractice insurance.
Red River was party to a lawsuit in 2003 about whether it was misleading patients by not disclosing the fact that abortion can increase a woman’s chances for contracting breast cancer.
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