Louisiana House Unanimously Sends Pro-Life Ultrasound Bill to Governor Jindal
by Steven Ertelt
June 16, 2010
Baton Rouge, LA (LifeNews.com) — The Louisiana state House unanimously approved an ultrasound bill today that will help women get a view of their unborn child before deciding to have an abortion. The state Senate has already passed the measure, which now heads to pro-life Governor Bobby Jindal and will be signed into law shortly.
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.
The House voted 79-0 for Senate Bill 528 sponsored by pro-life Democratic Sen. Sharon Broome of Baton Rouge
"This is a bill that empowers women,” Broome said in committee.
The measure originally required anyone seeking an abortion to listen to a detailed description of the ultrasound of the unborn baby and to receive a photograph of the ultrasound but those requirements were changed in the committee process to make them optional and giving women a chance to sign a document saying they were offered the chance to view the ultrasound.
Benjamin Clapper of Louisiana Right to Life told LifeNews.com his group supports the legislation.
"Throughout the legislative process, many women who deeply regret their abortion have testified that they would have chosen life if they had been provided with full information about the development of their unborn child. Once Governor Jindal signs this bill into law, we hope many women will see their unborn child and choose against the devastation caused by abortion," he said.
"We are grateful to Senator Broome, Representative Barrow, the Jindal Administration, and our entire legislature for passing this legislation, and we are honored to help defend both the integrity of women and the lives of unborn children through this legislation," Clapper continued.
During the testimony, Clapper said 30-40 places do free ultrasounds in the state and most abortion centers do an ultrasound prior to the abortion already, though women may not get to see it.
Julie Mickelberry, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Louisiana, opposed the bill. She said Broome isn’t doing anything to help pregnant women and said the bill intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship.
You don’t know me or what I have done to help women in this community and throughout the state, Broome responded, according to the Baton Rogue newspaper. We have no physicians who have come in opposition to this bill from any of the statewide organizations, and I think that speaks volumes."
"I think women should have as much information as possible before they make a critical decision about having an abortion," Broome said.
The legislation also has the support of the Bioethics Defense Fund and BDF attorney Dorinda Bordlee drafted the bill.
"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."
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.
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