Tennessee to consider ultrasound bill

A bill requiring doctors to offer women pictures of an ultrasound before they can receive an abortion will be considered by Tennessee legislators this year. The bill, filed by Rep. Rick Womick, also requires physicians to offer women the chance to hear the baby’s heartbeat prior to an abortion…

Except in the case of a medical emergency, at the beginning of the applicable waiting period imposed by [law], the physician who is to perform the abortion on the pregnant woman, the referring physician, or a qualified person assisting the physician shall perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the patient undergoing the abortion.

According to The Tennesseean, under the provisions of the bill, women may opt out of viewing the images of the ultrasound. Womick believes his proposed legislation will ensure that women are fully informed by their doctors before undergoing an abortion.

“Right now Planned Parenthood and all abortion clinics do ultrasounds before they perform the abortion. All this bill would say is look, let the mother see the picture and hear the heartbeat, that’s all this bill would do,” Womick said. “Let her realize that it’s not just a blob of tissue, it’s a life.”

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