Pa. Lawmakers Push for Ultrasounds Before Abortions

Friday, 02 Mar 2012 06:51 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a “Women’s Right to Know” bill, which would require women to undergo an ultrasound before getting an abortion. Supporters and more than 110 state House members who co-sponsored the bill say it will give women a chance to reconsider, according to The Patriot-News in Harrisburg.
 
Opponents though, say the bill is about “shaming women” by requiring a government invasion into their personal lives.
 
The bill requires women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound with the procedure shown on a screen in her line of sight. She doesn’t have to look at the images, the bill says, but she will have to hear the results of the physician’s finding, sign a written report for the abortion provider, and receive a sealed copy of the ultrasound image.
 
Pennsylvania’s House is set to debate the bill on March 12; more than 24,000 have signed an online petition by Planned Parenthood Advocates opposing the measure.
 
The highly backed bill will likely pass the House and then will move to the GOP-controlled Senate, which could push it through. Republican Gov. Tom Corbett opposes abortion rights, but he has steered clear from the current debate.
 
Nationally, nine other states have some pre-abortion ultrasound mandate in place, but abortion rights advocates protest the bills, which they say adds new layers of government intrusion to a personal decision.
 
The Pennsylvania Medical Society, citing undue interference in the doctor-patient relationship, also opposes the bill, as do the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and other groups such as the YWCA of Pennsylvania and the League of Women Voters.

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