Utah Senate Passes Pro-Life Bill Letting Women See Ultrasound of Their Baby Before Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 11, 2020   |   9:47AM   |   Washington, DC

The Utah Senate approved an informed consent bill Tuesday to make sure the abortion industry provides accurate information to mothers about their unborn babies.

The ultrasound bill, which ensures women have the chance to see their unborn babies before going through with an abortion, passed in a 16-7 vote, ABC News 4 reports. All of the female lawmakers walked out in protest, refusing to vote, the report states.

Utah House Bill 364 would require abortion facilities to allow a woman to see her unborn baby on an ultrasound screen and hear the baby’s heartbeat when possible. It also would require abortion facilities to describe the unborn baby’s image. Abortion facilities that fail to do so could face fines of up to $250,000.

State Sen. Curt Bramble, R-Provo, a sponsor of the bill, defended informed consent against his fellow lawmakers’ protests, NPR Utah reports.

“If you’re going to take a life of a child, if you’re going to terminate that life through an abortion, it seems appropriate that you’d be given the best information about the development, the stage of development [and] the heartbeat,” Bramble said.

However, female senators, including some who are pro-life, objected to the legislation, arguing it mandates a “medically unnecessary procedure.”

“The six Republican and Democratic women of the senate decided to walk out in protest. It wasn’t planned, but a spontaneous decision to put an exclamation mark on our concerns about the invasive nature of that bill,” state Sen. Deidre Henderson, R-Spanish Fork, told Fox 13. “I am very pro-life, and always vote for pro-life bills. But I’m concerned that we are overstepping with government mandates of medically unnecessary procedures.”

But this is not what abortionists themselves say. An ultrasound is standard practice prior to an abortion. Planned Parenthood leaders have admitted that their policy requires that an ultrasound be performed prior to an abortion. Legislation like Bramble’s is important because it requires abortion staff to provide information about that ultrasound to women prior to the abortion.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Kathleen Riebe, D-Cottonwood Heights, misunderstood the purpose of the bill at a more fundamental level when she compared the killing of an unborn baby to a vasectomy.

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“If a man is going to get a vasectomy, does he have to watch a movie about babies?” Riebe said, according to the local news. “This is a personal choice each person comes to on their own. If a man doesn’t have to watch a movie, a woman shouldn’t have to either.”

Bramble responded, “Nothing is more powerful than seeing what is happening to your own baby.”

According to NPR Utah, lawmakers also debated whether the legislation would withstand a legal challenge. The Utah branch of the ACLU said it is not sure if it will sue if the ultrasound bill passes.

The bill passed the House earlier this month, but it must go back for final approval of an amendment made in the Senate.

Informed consent legislation is vitally important. Women have said abortion facilities deceived them about their unborn babies’ development and refused to allow them to see their unborn babies via ultrasound.

A survey by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates found that 78 percent of abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable women chose life after seeing an ultrasound image of their unborn baby. Most women (83.5 percent) also said the ultrasound had a positive impact on their decision to choose life for their baby.