Louisiana Senate Approves Ultrasound Bill Helping Women Ahead of Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 19, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Louisiana Senate Approves Ultrasound Bill Helping Women Ahead of Abortions

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 19
, 2010

Baton Rouge , LA (LifeNews.com) — The Louisiana state Senate has approved an ultrasound bill that will help women get a view of their unborn child before deciding to have an abortion. The pro-life measure now heads to the state House, which is expected to sign off on it and advance it to Governor Bobby Jindal.

The measure would give women something abortion centers don’t normally provide: a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before the abortion.

When used in pregnancy centers, women considering an abortion who see the ultrasound change their mind about the abortion about 80 percent of the time.

In committee, lawmakers removed a section that would have required a "screen depicting the active ultrasound images" placed within view. Instead, the bill now gives women a chance to see the ultrasound but a right to refuse to do so.

Sen. Sharon Weston Broome, a Democrat, is the sponsor of the bill, Senate Bill 528, that would make the state the fifteenth to allow women the information before considering an abortion.

Legislators approved it on a 33-4 vote and Broome says, according to the New Orleans Times Picayune newspaper, that her bill is meant to help women "think twice about having an abortion."

"I think women should have as much information as possible before they make a critical decision about having an abortion," Broome said.

But Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, a New Orleans Democrat, opposed the bill on the Senate floor and falsely claimed it would make women have to see an ultrasound and pay for it, even though abortion centers routinely do ultrasounds before abortions to determine the age of the unborn child.

The legislation also has the support of the Bioethics Defense Fund and BDF attorney Dorinda Bordlee drafted the legislation.

"Science tells us when life begins," she told LifeNews.com. "The real question is when love begins. Ultrasound before abortion legislation is highly effective because of the unexpected love women experience when seeing the beauty of their unborn children."

Julie Mickelberry, public affairs director of Planned Parenthood of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta, opposed the bill to help women get more information.

Louisiana Right to Life previously told LifeNews.com it was excited about the bill.

"Over the past six months, we have been working with experts to craft this groundbreaking legislation empowering women to know the truth about abortion," the group said. "Not only will it require abortion facilities to perform ultrasounds before every abortion and show them to the woman (they can choose to look or not), but every woman will receive an ultrasound print out of their unborn child before their abortion. No other state has done this."

"As studies have shown, women are 2-3 times more likely to choose to parent or pursue adoption after seeing an ultrasound. Not only do we hope women will be fully informed about abortion, but in knowing the truth, they will have the freedom to make a better choice," it said.

Related web sites:
Bioethics Defense Fund – https://www.BDFund.org
Louisiana Legislature – https://www.legis.state.la.us
Louisiana Right to Life – https://www.prolifelouisiana.org

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