In what looks like a gift to the medical devise industry wrapped in a pro-life bow, the Michigan state Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that requires doctors to use “the most advanced ultrasound equipment available at their office to a woman considering an abortion with images of her fetus” — to get the most “distinct” image possible:
Republican Sen. Wayne Kuipers is the sponsor of the bill and he said, according to the Grand Haven Tribune, that the image of the unborn child in the ultrasound should be as high quality as possible.
“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 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.”
“My goal with this reform is to protect as many babies as possible by making abortion as rare as possible,” Kuipers said. “If viewing a clear ultrasound image of her unborn child causes just one woman to change her mind about having an abortion, then it is worth the effort.” .
The bill would impose an unfunded mandate on doctors and clinics across the state — which are already required to conduct an ultrasound before performing an abortion — and represents the very kind of government overreach into the doctor’s office that Republicans have spent most of the last two years condemning. But unfortunately, political intrusion over the abortion process is all too common and has only escalated since the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
A significant number of states have taken advantage of the law’s carefully negotiated abortion provisions to go beyond the exchanges and restrict access to abortion coverage in other health programs. CAP’s Jessica Arons and Alex Cawthorne released a comprehensive review of state-based abortion measures back in June, at which point 18 states had introduced legislation to require abortion providers to offer their patients an ultrasound. Half of these bills mandated that the provider perform the ultrasound, regardless of whether the woman wants one, and a few go so far as to require the provider to show and/or describe the image to the woman.
The Michigan bill “has been sent to the House for consideration.”