TESTIMONY OF MISSOURI RIGHT TO LIFE
BEFORE THE HOUSE HEALTH CARE POLICY COMMITTEE
IN SUPPORT OF HB 298
February 27, 2013
Missouri Right to Life supports the passage of HB 298. HB 298 would ensure that an ultrasound is being conducted and reviewed with the mother 24 hours prior to an abortion.
Missouri Right to Life suggests the following 2 amendments. First amendment is to ensure that the active ultrasound being conducted and reviewed with the mother is actually of her child and not a ‘canned ultrasound.’(This was being done in Utah.)
The second amendment we request is language be included to ensure that the screen is placed somewhere within the mother’s line of vision so that she can see the screen without having to request that it be moved to a position where she can see it. Unfortunately, all too often the screen is behind the mother. Placing the screen in the mother’s line of vision allows the mother, if she wants to look at her child, is to move her eyes toward the screen. Nothing requires her to look, but it is there for her to see, if she chooses to look.
The physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or a qualified professional shall [provide the woman with the opportunity to view] conduct and review with the woman, at least twenty-four hours prior to the abortion, an active ultrasound of [the] her unborn child, display the ultrasound screen so that it is within the woman’s line of vision, and allow the woman to hear the heartbeat of [the] her unborn child if the heartbeat is audible. If the ultrasound cannot be conducted at the abortion facility, the woman shall be provided with a geographically indexed list maintained by the department of health care providers, facilities, and clinics that perform ultrasounds, including those that offer ultrasound services free of charge. Such materials shall provide contact information for each provider, facility, or clinic including telephone numbers and, if available, website addresses. Should the woman [decide] need to obtain an ultrasound from a provider, facility, or clinic other than the abortion facility, the woman shall be offered a reasonable time to obtain the ultrasound examination before the date and time set for performing or inducing an abortion. The woman shall be required to submit verification from the provider, facility, or clinic other than the abortion facility that conducted an ultrasound for the woman, stating the date and time that the ultrasound was conducted and that it was reviewed with the woman, that the screen was displayed so that it was within her line of vision allowing her to view the ultrasound images and that she was allowed to hear the heartbeat of the unborn child if the heartbeat [is] was audible. The person conducting the ultrasound shall ensure that the active ultrasound image is of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community, contains the dimensions of the unborn child, and accurately portrays the presence of external members and internal organs, if present or viewable, of the unborn child. The auscultation of fetal heart tone must also be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community. If the woman [chooses to view] views the ultrasound or [hear] hears the heartbeat or both at the abortion facility, the viewing or hearing or both shall be provided to her at the abortion facility at least twenty-four hours prior to the abortion being performed or induced;
Section 188.027.3. No abortion shall be performed or induced unless and until the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced certifies in writing on a checklist form provided by the department that she has been presented all the information required in subsection 1 of this section, that [she has been provided the opportunity to view] an active ultrasound has been conducted and reviewed with her, that the screen was displayed in a manner allowing her to view an image of [the] her unborn child and hear the heartbeat of [the] her unborn child if it is audible, and that she further certifies that she gives her voluntary and informed consent, freely and without coercion, to the abortion procedure.