Michigan Senate Passes New Ultrasound Law; Mandates Type of Technology Used


Numerous states use mandatory ultrasound laws in an effort to restrict access to abortion, hoping that the additional time required to schedule or the picture on the screen or in a woman’s hand might sway her from her choice to terminate her pregnancy.

The Michigan Senate, however, is going a step further, by mandating the type of machine that must be used to perform the ultrasound.

Via Michigan Radio:

A proposed state law would require doctors to use the most advanced ultrasound equipment available at their office to a woman considering an abortion with images of her fetus.  Doctors in Michigan are already required to do an ultrasound of a fetus before a woman can get an abortion.  Supporters of a bill passed in the Senate Wednesday say women should get the most distinct fetal image possible.

They believe that could persuade some women not to have an abortion.

The bill’s sponsor accused doctors of not following the intent of the ultrasound law by providing low-quality pictures of the fetus to women.

“When lawmakers gave a mother the opportunity to see real-time ultrasound images of her unborn child before aborting her pregnancy in 2006, we never thought doctors would trample on that right by producing poor-quality pictures,” said [Republican Sen. Wayne] Kuipers. “My bill will restore our original legislative intent — to ensure women considering abortion have access to as much information as possible before making this life and death decision.”

Should the new restriction be passed, it is unclear how it would be enforced, as there is no real way to monitor if the providers are using the “most advanced ultrasound equipment available at their office” without non-stop surveillance or monitoring.

The bill will next go to the Michigan House for a vote.

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