Florida Abortion-Ultrasound to Help Women Approved by House Panel Wednesday

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 18, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Florida Abortion-Ultrasound to Help Women Approved by House Panel Wednesday

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 18
, 2009

Tallahassee, FL (LifeNews.com) — It has been called the window into the womb, and Florida pro-life advocates are promoting a bill that would allow women to see an ultrasound before the abortion. Women who see ultrasounds of their baby in a pregnancy center frequently choose abortion alternatives.

The Ultrasound Option bill, HB 983, will require abortion practitioners to conduct and review an ultrasound with all women prior to an abortion and gives the woman the option of viewing the ultrasound.

The goal is to provide women with more information as well as reduce the number of abortions in the Sunshine state.

"Let a woman choose, but let her have all the information possible that we have to give to her," said Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Brandon, who is sponsoring the bill with Rep. Anitere Flores, R-Miami.

Rep. Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican, is also a co-sponsor and pro-life groups like Florida Right to Life and pro-family organizations support the bill.

"Most abortion clinics already require the woman to pay for and receive an ultrasound in the first trimester, but do not allow the woman to view or benefit from the information the ultrasound provides," Nathan Dunn of the Family Policy Council tells LifeNews.com.

"When given the option of viewing her baby in the ultrasound image, many mothers being more fully informed in the procedure they are about to undertake change their mind and choose to keep their baby," he adds. "So if the bill passes, it can save many lives and also prevent the psychological and emotional damage that many post-abortive women experience when they regret their decision to abort their child."

Abortion advocates oppose the bill to let women have more information before making an abortion decision.

Rep. Kelly Skidmor, a Democrat, voted against the bill along with Rep. Ari Porth, also a Democrat. They said the bill just made it hard for women to get an abortion, even though it merely provides them with information about the development of their baby.

The Ultrasound Option bill passed the House last year and died on a 20-20 tie vote in the Senate. Sen. Andy Gardiner, an Orlando Republican, is sponsoring the Senate version of the proposal.

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