ST. PAUL — Mainstream pro-life legislation to ensure women's right to view their ultrasound was approved by the Minnesota Senate today. The informed consent measure has the strong support of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state's oldest and largest pro-life organization. S.F. 2849, 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 measure has earned bipartisan support in both chambers, and was passed on a bipartisan vote of 37-30 in the Senate today. 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 with factual medical information prior to an abortion. "This bill is about informed consent for women," said MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau. "Women have a right to comprehensive information prior to an abortion, empowering them to 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. 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, enabling them to make a truly informed decision regarding abortion.
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