Public Speaks Out on Proposed Law Requiring Ultrasounds Before Abortion

Jun 5, 2013

Lawmakers heard public testimony on legislation that would require an ultrasound before an abortion could be performed
Credit Ann Althouse, Flickr

Some GOP legislators want to require women seeking an abortion, to first, undergo an ultrasound.

WUWM’s LaToya Dennis monitored a public hearing on the proposal Wednesday. Many who testified, oppose the plan.

The co-author of the bill says she just wants to make sure women have all the information they need to make their decision. Republican Sen. Mary Lazich is from New Berlin. Her plan would prohibit abortions, unless the doctor first performs an ultrasound and describes the image and fetus. According to Lazich, the woman would not be required to look or listen.

“You know if someone wants to come in with headphones and soothing music because they’re in a very, very stressful situation to begin with, they can do that. They wanna do earplugs. But we have too many situations where people have not been fully informed and not had information and learned later about the dimensions and the size and the activities of the baby and severely regretted it,” Lazich says.

It is already common practice for clinics to complete an ultrasound before performing an abortion, according to Nicole Sager. She’s a legal and policy analyst for Planned Parenthood.

“A doctor wants to comply with what is best for the patient and wants to comply with the code of ethics, and it really does create a rock and a hard place when the Legislature is making political decisions not based on anything but politics and a physician actually has to practice medicine,” Sager says.

The proposed law would allow the woman to choose whatever ultrasound technique she finds most comfortable. However, there was discrepancy at the hearing as to whether women in their first trimester actually have an option. Some who testified insist the only option available to women early in their pregnancy is the invasive technique.