Tennessee Lawmaker: If You Don’t Look at Your Ultrasound, You’ll be Forced to Hear About It


Some say a picture is worth a thousand words. In Tennessee, however, if that picture is a pre-abortion ultrasound, it’s actually worth a long, detailed embryonic anatomy lesson and a quick listen to a heartbeat.

According to SB 0632, sponsored by State Senator Jim Tracy, women about to undergo an abortion will be forced to undergo an abdominal ultrasound and to look at the image. If she doesn’t, well, then the provider will just explain what she’s not looking at millimeter by millimeter, with tiny embryonic heart tones and all.

(A) Verbally offer the woman undergoing the fetal transabdominal
ultrasound an opportunity to view the ultrasound image and receive a
printed copy of the ultrasound image; or
(B) In cases where the woman declines the offer to view the
ultrasound image pursuant to subdivision (b)(3)(A), provide, in a manner
understandable to a layperson, a simultaneous verbal explanation of the
results of the live, real-time ultrasound images, including a medical
description of the dimensions of the embryo or fetus, the presence of
cardiac activity, and the presence of arms, legs, external members and
internal organs, and provide a copy of the ultrasound image to the
woman; and
(4) Make audible the live, real-time heart auscultation, when present, for
the pregnant woman to hear, in a quality consistent with current medical practice,
and provide, in a manner understandable to a layperson, a simultaneous verbal
explanation of the live, real-time heart auscultation.

In other words, they aren’t going to force you to look at the image. It’s just that if you don’t, they will ensure that every last detail is described to the pregnant woman and that she is forced to listen to a heartbeat instead.

If there was any doubt that these increasingly dogmatic “informed consent” bills are really about the emotional manipulation and attempts to punish women for seeking to end an untenable pregnancy, Tracy’s new bill language lays that to rest.

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  • flan

    So… if a woman wears earplugs or otherwise inserts a noise cancelling device in her ears, closes her eyes, and hums to herself – to avoid seeing the ultrasound and hearing the description, will they strap her down, take out the noise cancelling device and force her to listen???