Michigan Bill Requires Abortion Centers Show Women Better Ultrasound Images
by Steven Ertelt
June 18, 2010
Lansing, MI (LifeNews.com) — States across the country are pass laws requiring abortion centers to show women an ultrasound of their unborn child prior to doing an abortion. In Michigan, where ultrasound laws are already in place, legislators are looking to strengthen them by ensuring the ultrasound is of the highest quality possible.
The notion is that if women deserve a chance to see their baby before having an abortion, they deserve to see a high-quality image — not a low-quality one abortion centers might use to discount the ultrasound and persuade women to have an abortion.
Republican Sen. Wayne Kuipers is the sponsor of the bill and he tells the Associated Press he introduce the bill because some abortion centers intentionally use older ultrasound machines designed to producer poorer images.
"The physician or person assisting the physician shall ensure that the most technologically advanced ultrasound equipment available at that location is used for the ultrasound examination, for viewing an active ultrasound image, and for creating the physical picture of the ultrasound image," the legislation reads.
The bill, Senate Bill 1283, received a hearing this week before the Michigan state Senate Judiciary Committee.
Jim Sprague, Executive Director of the Grand Rapids Pregnancy Resource Center, and Jackie Murin, a Pregnancy Resource Center counselor, provided testimony in favor of the bill.
In addition to Right to Life of Michigan, Nancy Kajawa from Pregnancy Services of East Lansing also testified in support of the bill.
The National Organization for Women (NOW) and the ACLU opposed the bill, but did not offer testimony beyond letters submitted to the committee, Right to Life of Michigan informed LifeNews.com.
Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet said, "We are supporting this legislation to ensure a mother receives the best possible medical information possible regarding the development of her unborn child."
Since enactment of the Ultrasound Viewing Option law in 2006, abortion businesses that do pre-abortion diagnostic ultrasounds must give the woman seeking an abortion the opportunity to view the ultrasound screen, and offer her a printout of the ultrasound image.
"This Amendment will help ensure that the woman can see a sharp, clear image of her baby. Having this critical information will enable the woman to make a truly informed decision regarding abortion," RLM indicated.
In a statement provided to LifeNews.com, RLM explained the need for the bill.
"Those who work with women in crisis pregnancies indicate that many abortion-minded women choose to bring their baby to term after viewing an ultrasound image of their unborn child. Armed with this knowledge, pro-life legislators enacted the Ultrasound Viewing Option law in 2006, requiring that abortion providers who do diagnostic ultrasounds prior to abortions give the woman the opportunity to view the ultrasound screen and offer her a printout of the ultrasound image," it said.
"However, anecdotal evidence reveals that some abortion facilities are purposely keeping and using older ultrasound equipment for the pre-abortion ultrasound examination. Older ultrasound equipment produces poorer images. Meanwhile, these facilities use their most advanced equipment when actually performing the abortion," the pro-life group continued.
"Giving women poor quality images of her baby from old ultrasound machines does not provide her with the necessary information that constitutes truly informed consent as she makes this life or death decision. Abortion facilities have a financial incentive to keep this information from women. This legislation creates a buffer between that financial interest and a womans right to know the truth," it added.
Kuipers isn’t new to pro-life legislation. The Holland Area Right to Life member was behind a bill requiring proper medical care for any newborn who survives a failed abortion.
Related web sites:
Right to Life of Michigan – https://www.rtl.org
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