Neb. Antiabortion Group Seeks Legislation To Display Ultrasound Images on State Website

November 29, 2012 — Nebraska Right to Life said Tuesday that it will pursue legislation that would require detailed ultrasound images to be posted on the state Department of Health and Human Service's website, the Lincoln Journal Star reports. The so-called 4-D ultrasounds show images of the fetus from several angles, as well as movement.

A Nebraska law already requires the health department to post information about abortion on its website and offer a list of clinics providing no-cost ultrasounds. The law also requires that abortion providers tell women seeking abortion care about the risks of the procedure and that they cannot be forced to have an abortion. If an ultrasound is performed, it must be conducted at least one hour before the abortion procedure, with the screen positioned so the woman can see the image if she wants.

Nebraska Right to Life said it has been in contact with Kansans for Life about the 4-D ultrasound bill. The Kansas Legislature in 2009 approved a measure that created a state website that shows video of a fetus at various stages of development.

Kansans for Life Legislative Director Kathy Ostrowski in a news release claimed that the website has contributed to a decrease in the number of abortions in Kansas since the law was passed. Nationwide, the abortion rate has been on the decline since the 1980s, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Nebraska Right to Life Executive Director Julie Schmit-Albin in an email to Nebraska lawmakers said she intends "to meet with DHHS in the coming weeks to see how the Kansas legislation might work with our existing DHHS website" (O'Hanlon, Lincoln Journal Star, 11/27).