Rhode Island Considers Mandatory Ultrasounds
The push for mandatory forced ultrasounds prior to an abortion hasn’t subsided, even if media attention around the bills have.
Just yesterday lawmakers in Rhode Island considered a mandatory ultrasound bill similar to one that failed in the state’s General Assembly last year. And while supporters acknowledge that their prospects for passage are slim, just like in Iowa, it’s not stopping them from pushing the bill.
Under the proposed measure abortion providers would be required to perform a fetal ultrasound and explain the images to the woman prior to performing the abortion. Women would not be required to view the images, but those providers who failed to give women a chance to see the images would risk fines of up to $100,000.
Planned Parenthood already performs ultrasounds prior to abortions and shows the images to patients who want to see them, according to Susan Lloyd Yolen, vice president of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. But she said it should be up to medical professionals to set medical procedures.
“We oppose any legislation that would allow politicians, not doctors, to determine the protocols for any medical procedure,” she said.
Unlike measures in some other states, this bill is being sponsored by a Democrat. And it’s not the only abortion bill being debated in the state. The House Judiciary Committee also reviewed eight other abortion-related bills on Wednesday. One would outlaw abortion as a means of gender selection. Another would create new crimes and penalties for assaulting or killing a fetus during an attack on a pregnant woman.
None of the bills has been scheduled for a vote.
Photo from jimbowen0306 via flickr.