Utah Legislator Will Promote Bill Helping Women See Ultrasound Before Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
December 31, 2009
Salt Lake City, UT (LifeNews.com) — A Utah state legislator will promote legislation in the next session to help women be able to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before an abortion. When used in pregnancy centers, ultrasounds are credited with helping more than 80 percent of women to reconsider a decision to have an abortion.
Knowing that statistic, Rep. Carl Wimmer says he is sponsoring a bill in the 2010 session that would update the state’s informed consent laws on abortion.
While current law says women considering an abortion must be told of their right to view an ultrasound, Wimmer’s law would says that, if an ultrasound is performed to diagnose the age of the baby, the mother must be shown the image if she wants.
The person doing the ultrasound must also provide a "detailed description" of the development of the unborn child to that point.
"It’s as if a pregnant couple is at the ultrasound, checking on their baby," Wimmer told the Salt Lake Tribune newspaper.
He says his bill is necessary because abortion centers don’t want to lose business by persuading women not to have an abortion.
"They’re in the abortion market to make money. The more ultrasounds they show, the fewer abortions they’re going to be able to do," he told the newspaper.
But Melissa Bird, executive director of Planned Parenthood Action Council in Utah, claims women can already see the ultrasound if they wish.
Wimmer worked with Americans United for Life on the legislation and says his bill does not require ultrasounds to be done but could move in that direction based on what other states do — especially given that most abortion centers do an ultrasound to diagnose the age of the baby prior to the abortion.
Currently, according to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, eight states require women to be told about ultrasounds and fourteen states have laws that give women a chance to view one.
The Utah Department of Health indicates 3,932 abortions were done in Utah in 2007.
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