Bill to allow women to view ultrasound approved by House health committee
ST. PAUL — A key pro-life measure affirming women's right to view their ultrasound was approved by the Minnesota House Health and Human Services Reform committee Tuesday. The informed consent measure has the strong support of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). H.F. 3194 (S.F. 2849), authored by Rep. Abigail Whelan, R-Ramsey, would simply allow women to view their ultrasound prior to an abortion, if an ultrasound is performed. The legislation would require the physician or person performing the procedure to offer the woman the opportunity to view her ultrasound as it is being done. The mainstream measure has earned bi-partisan support in both chambers. Even though most abortion facilities perform ultrasound prior to an abortion to determine the size and location of the unborn child and the appropriate abortion method, they typically do not offer women the chance to see the ultrasound. "Ultrasound provides women with factual medical information," said MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau in her testimony. "When women have more information prior to having an abortion, they can be more confident in making a decision best for them, and less likely to make a decision they will regret." The bill would add a paragraph to the state's existing Woman's Right to Know informed consent law. More than two dozen states have enacted laws related to ultrasound, though many are much more prescriptive than H.F. 3194. The MCCL-supported initiative would ensure that women are given access to their ultrasound, empowering them to make a truly informed decision regarding abortion.