Ultrasound right-to-view bill approved by Senate HHS committee
ST. PAUL — Pro-life legislation ensuring women's right to view their ultrasound was approved by the Minnesota Senate Health and Human Services Finance and Policy committee Tuesday. The informed consent measure has the strong support of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL). S.F. 2849 (H.F. 3194), authored by Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, 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 bipartisan support in both chambers. Even though most abortion facilities perform ultrasound prior to an abortion to determine the development and location of the unborn child and the appropriate abortion method, they typically do not offer women the chance to see the ultrasound. S.F. 2849 would provide women access to factual medical information prior to an abortion. "While not all women regret their decision to have an abortion, some do," MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau told committee members. "This legislation is meant to ensure that women have more comprehensive information in order to ensure they make the best decision for them." The bill would add a paragraph to the state’s existing Woman's Right to Know informed consent law. Two post-abortive women submitted written testimony stating they were denied the right to see their ultrasounds performed at abortion facilities, and that they would not have undergone abortion had they been allowed to view their ultrasounds. More than two dozen states have enacted laws related to ultrasound, though many are much more prescriptive than S.F. 2849. The MCCL-supported initiative would ensure that women are given access to their ultrasound, empowering them to make a truly informed decision regarding abortion.