Wednesday June 16, 2010
‘Bayou State’ Scores another Pro-Life Win with Ultrasound Act
By Peter J. Smith
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana, June 16, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The “Bayou State” is giving Oklahoma a run for its money as this year’s pro-life state: on Wednesday the Louisiana legislature passed another pro-life law requiring abortionists to give women an ultrasound before performing an abortion.
The House of Representatives passed SB 528, the “Ultrasound Before Abortion Act,” by an overwhelming margin of 79-1. The law requires abortionists to perform an ultrasound on a pregnant mother at least 2 hours before she undergoes the abortion of her child, and before she is put under any kind of anesthesia.
The act requires that abortion facility employees follow a detailed script set forth in the legislation, offering pregnant mothers the opportunity to see the ultrasound image, hear a description of the image, and receive a print-out of the ultrasound image.
“Today, Louisiana’s body of life-protecting legislation takes a critical step forward,” said Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of the Louisiana Right to Life Federation. “Now, all woman considering abortion will have the opportunity to see the ultrasound image of their unborn child and be empowered with the information that can assist them in choosing life-affirming options such as parenting and adoption.”
The legislation was developed with the aid of the Louisiana Right to Life Federation and the Bioethics Defense Fund. The House originally passed a slightly different version, similar to the one passed in Oklahoma, which would have required abortionists to put the ultrasound screen in view of the woman, describe the ultrasound, and then hand her a copy of the ultrasound in a sealed envelope.
However, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee amended the bill so that the abortionist must perform the ultrasound, but only offer the woman the opportunity to see the ultrasound, hear the explanation, and view the printout.
Nevertheless, abortionists who break the law, which includes failing to follow the exact script, will be liable to civil penalties and disciplinary action by the state medical board.
The law also states that women should be given informational materials about hospitals and other places that offer ultrasounds free of charge.
“Throughout the legislative process, many women who deeply regret their abortion have testified that they would have chosen life if they had been provided with full information about the development of their unborn child,” added Clapper. “Once Governor Jindal signs this bill into law, we hope many women will see their unborn child and choose against the devastation caused by abortion.”
The bill now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal, who has said he will sign the legislation into state law.
The ultrasound mandate law follows 2 other bills passed by the legislature that opt the state out of the abortion mandates of the national health care reform, and which also give the health department the power to shut down all the abortion clinics run by the same owner, when any one of those clinics has violated state law.
See related coverage by LifeSiteNews.com:
Louisiana Lawmakers Clamp Down on Law-Breaking Abortionists
Louisiana Passes Opt-Out Bill Voiding ObamaCare’s Abortion Mandate
Major Pro-Life Abortion Law Changes Underway in Louisiana
Oklahoma Ultrasound Law Temporarily Suspended
Showdown at the OK Capitol: Senate Overrides Gov’s Veto of Abortion Law