The Arizona Senate passed two pieces of anti-abortion legislation on Friday without holding debates on either of the bills. The first bill would impose a 2-year sentence on any doctor who performs a late abortion. The second bill imposes a 24-hour waiting period on women who seek abortions, requires 2 parents to give consent for a teenager seeking an abortion, and requires that abortion providers read a mandatory script before performing an abortion so that the patient has “informed consent.” These bills passed with a voice vote on Friday. They will move to the House next week, and then they will land on the governor’s desk for approval. Governor Jan Brewer is likely to approve both of the bills, but we’ll keep ya’ll in the loop.
I went back and forth on the title of this post, from what it is to, “For Sensible Ultrasound Legislation.” Perhaps that gives some insight into how very prickly this subject can be.
In the past few years, several states have entertained legislation dealing with varying requirements involving ultrasound technology and abortion. These range from offering an ultrasound to mandating both an ultrasound and a discussion of the development of the fetus. Some include funding, some make the woman pay. Some apply to all abortions, some only after the first trimester. These provisions are as different and nuanced as can be, so it would be ill-considered to condemn or celebrate all of them.
Nebraska is the latest state to adopt ultrasound legislation. Ultrasounds are not usually considered medically necessary for first-trimester abortions. Many clinics provide the option already, however.