New informed consent legislation will empower pregnant women
ST. PAUL — A woman’s right to view her ultrasound prior to an abortion would be guaranteed under new legislation introduced today with the strong support of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization.
“Women have a right to be well-informed before undergoing any medical procedure, including abortion,” said MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau. “Ultrasound provides factual, medical information that should not be withheld from women.”
S.F. 2849 is authored by Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake; the House version, expected to be introduced later today, is authored by Rep. Abigail Whelan, R-Ramsey.
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 their sonogram. The informed consent legislation would allow women to view their ultrasound if and when it is performed. The mainstream measure has earned bi-partisan support in both chambers.
At the 2018 MCCL March for Life, Carla Stream shared her story of undergoing an abortion after an abortion facility did not allow her to see her ultrasound. Stream said she would have rejected abortion had she been allowed to see her unborn child, which at 10 weeks already had arms and legs, fingers and toes.
At least a dozen states have now enacted ultrasound-related laws. They recognize that women deserve the opportunity to see their sonograms prior to an abortion.
“When women are informed they make better decisions that result in better lives and fewer regrets,” Rau said.
The bill would add a paragraph to the existing Woman’s Right to Know informed consent statute, which became law in 2003.