Laws requiring or strongly suggesting that pregnant women get ultrasounds are already on the books in eighteen states, according to Guttmacher (pdf) but one Michigan lawmaker has decided to join the innovators. His bill would require an ultrasound, as well as the offer of a description of the image, the option to listen to a heartbeat — and a printout.
If the bill becomes law, Michigan will be the "six state to require the woman be offered a physical picture of the ultrasound and the fifth to require the offer to listen to the fetal heartbeat," according to Elizabeth Nash of the Guttmacher Institute.
Michigan already has a law requiring a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion, and already requires providers to offer women the opportunity to view the ultrasound. The proposal is to amend the law to require the ultrasound, whether there's a medical necessity for it or not, and then to compel the physician two hours before any procedure to offer all of those extra fun options for the woman who clearly has no idea on her own what it means to be pregnant. All of this elaborate roadblocking and demands on a woman's time and emotional energy is done under the pretense of requiring "fully informed consent." (The Jesus Loves You frame is also optional.)
The executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan told the Michigan Messenger, "If lawmakers were really concerned about reducing the need for abortion they would fund family planning and give women the tools to avoid pregnancy. Instead, the state House and Senate Department of Community Health subcommittees have both approved budgets that completely eliminate all state funding for pregnancy prevention services." Well said.
Just for fun, here's Guttmacher's chart of the state-by-state requirements as of April 1. Click to enlarge.
Would You Like A Keepsake Photo With That Abortion? [MJ]
Republican Ultrasound Bill Puts New Restrictions On Abortion [Michigan Messenger]
State Policies In Brief [Guttmacher]
Photo illustration by Whitney Jefferson.