A new bill proposed in the Indiana legislature would require women look and listen to an ultrasound before having an abortion. Current law allows women to opt out.
The bill, authored by Republican Sen. Dennis Kruse, would mean a woman seeking an abortion could no longer waive the requirement she view an ultrasound and listen to the fetus’ heartbeat. Kruse declined requests for an interview, but said in a statement that he authored the bill to prevent abortions of unborn Hoosier children.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana is already in a lawsuit with the state over its current ultrasound and heartbeat monitor requirements, and vice president of public policy Patti Stauffer says they offer no health benefit.
“It’s absolutely outrageous that the government would force women to view images and hear tones that she doesn’t want to see or hear,” says Stauffer.
Besides lifting the ability for a woman to opt out, the new bill would also change the time of the mandatory appointment – from 18 hours before to 48 hours before. Planned Parenthood says the additional appointment already poses significant challenges for some women. Stauffer says she’s disappointed that lawmakers continue to propose anti-abortion bills.
“We do have this new standard that has been imposed by this whole women’s health decision and that clearly was a move by the courts to indicate there needs to be an overwhelming evidence of patient safety concerns,” Stauffer says.
The new Senate bill was referred to the committee on Health and Provider Services last week. A judge has yet to make a decision about the current 18-hour requirement.