Idaho Senate Committee Advances Bill Mandating Pre-Abortion Ultrasound

March 19, 2012 — The Idaho Senate State Affairs Committee last week approved a bill that would require a woman seeking abortion care to first receive an ultrasound, the Twin Falls Times-News reports. The bill now advances to the full Senate.

The legislation also would require physicians to determine the gestational age and attempt to detect the fetal heartbeat. In addition, it would establish a list of ultrasound providers in the state who do the procedure at no-cost, most of which would be crisis pregnancy centers.

Supporters of the bill said mandating an ultrasound would give a woman the information she needs to make an informed decision about the pregnancy. Opponents said the mandate would intrude into personal medical decisions that should remain between a patient and her physician. During testimony on the bill Wednesday morning, opponents presented a petition with more than 4,000 signatures of Idaho residents who were against the legislation.

Monica Hopkins of the American Civil Liberties Union also testified that the no-cost ultrasounds at CPCs would not satisfy the bill's requirements because the measure states that the abortion provider must fill out the ultrasound form (Davlin, Twin Falls Times-News, 3/15).