La. Ultrasound Bill Clears Final Committee

June 4, 2010 at 9:08 AM Leave a comment

Baton Rouge Advocate, June 4, 2010

Dorinda Bordlee, Sen. Sharon Broome, Ben Clapper

Broome’s measure would require a patient to be told by the physician prior to the ultrasound that she has the option to view the screen, hear an oral explanation of what the image shows and receive a print of the image.

Ultrasound bill goes to House

  • By MARK BALLARD
  • Advocate Capitol News Bureau
  • Published: Jun 4, 2010 – Page: 6A
  •  

    A Louisiana House committee Thursday approved Senate-passed legislation that would require physicians to perform ultrasounds prior to an abortion.

    Senate Bill 528, which was approved without objection or amendment by the House Health and Welfare Committee, goes to the full House for debate and a vote. If approved without any further changes by the full House, the legislation would head for the governor’s desk.

    SB528 amends the state law that generally forbids abortions 24 weeks after conception. The ultrasound, to be performed two hours before an abortion procedure, would determine the age of the fetus.

    Ultrasound is a medical imaging technology that can visualize tissues and bones. It is often used on pregnant mothers to check the condition of their unborn child.

    Broome’s measure would require a patient to be told by the physician prior to the ultrasound that she has the option to view the screen, hear an oral explanation of what the image shows and receive a print of the image.

    Broome said her SB528 follows up on a law passed about 15 years ago that requires that prior to an abortion, the woman be told about possible dangers with the procedure and alternative choices.

    “I felt it was necessary for us to go farther,” Broome said. “I call it an empowerment piece of legislation for women.”

    Benjamin Clapper, executive director of the Louisiana Right to Life Federation, said about 30 to 40 clinics provide free ultrasounds in the state. He testified that his group’s studies show that most abortion facilities already do ultrasounds as part of their regular routine.

    “This is a very modest proposal,” Clapper said.

    Fifteen other states have variations of a law requiring ultrasounds at some level, said Dorinda C. Bordlee, senior counsel in Metairie for the Bioethics Defense Fund. The fund calls itself a national public-interest law firm dedicated to drafting anti-abortion legislation. Bordlee said she helped Broome draft SB528.

    Julie Mickelberry, director of public affairs for Planned Parenthood of Louisiana, testified that the legislation intrudes on the relationship between doctor and patient by imposing a specific treatment. Doctors, not legal mandates, should decide what it is the best practice for specific situations, she said.

    Also, the bill “doesn’t do anything to reduce the cause of abortion, which is unintended pregnancy,” Mickelberry said.

    Broome took exception to Mickelberry’s suggestion that she should put more effort into combating unintended pregnancies.

    “You don’t know me or what I have done to help women in this community and throughout the state,” Broome said, turning to Mickelberry.

    “We have no physicians who have come in opposition to this bill from any of the statewide organizations, and I think that speaks volumes,” Broome said.

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    Entry filed under: Abortion, Legislation, Ultrasound, Uncategorized.

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