baby rubbing his eye

BILL SUMMARY

Requires an ultrasound be performed prior to an abortion, except in a medical emergency.

Medical emergency is defined as a physician’s good faith clinical judgment that necessitates immediate termination of the pregnancy to avert the mother’s death or for which a delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function (Planned Parenthood v. Casey, 1992).

The woman is given the opportunity to view the ultrasound image and hear the fetal heart tone though not required to look or listen. If she “opts-out,” she must sign a waiver saying she was offered the opportunity.

If, according to the medical opinion of the provider and in accordance with the guidelines of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a transabdominal ultrasound is not feasible to obtaining a quality image of the unborn child, no ultrasound is required.

A physician’s failure to comply with this section provides a basis for a civil healthcare liability action, and intentional violation of this section constitutes medical malpractice.

ANALYSIS

Over 20 states have similar laws; this bill is a good step toward ensuring that mothers contemplating abortion understand what they are doing.

STATUS

After some debate in the House Health Subcommittee, the sponsor decided not to push the measure.

BILL

Senate Bill / House Bill
Sponsor(s): Beavers in the Senate, Womick in the House