Ultrasound right-to-view measure would empower women

Bill would ensure that women are offered choice to view their ultrasound

ST. PAUL — Legislation introduced today in the Minnesota House and Senate would ensure that abortion-seeking pregnant women can see an ultrasound of their unborn child. The measure is strongly backed by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).

“Ultrasound imaging provides women with factual medical information,” says MCCL Legislative Director Andrea Rau. “When people are better informed, they make better decisions that result in fewer regrets. Women deserve the chance to decide for themselves whether or not to see their child.”

Abortion facilities routinely perform an ultrasound before abortion in order to determine the developmental stage and location of the child, but the woman usually isn’t given the chance to view it. The new legislation (SF 1168), authored by Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL-Hibbing) in the House and Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) in the Senate, would merely require that, if and when an ultrasound is performed prior to abortion, the woman be offered the opportunity to see.

The bill would add a paragraph to the existing Woman’s Right to Know informed consent statute, which became law in 2003.

“This is completely mainstream legislation that lawmakers of diverse viewpoints can and should support,” says Rau. “It simply empowers women to make an informed decision.”

The Legislature passed a similar ultrasound bill with bipartisan support in 2018, but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Mark Dayton. A total of 28 states already have some form of ultrasound-related informed consent requirement, according to the National Right to Life Committee, and many of those laws are significantly more prescriptive than the Minnesota proposal.