SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are considering revisions and amendments to the laws surrounding abortions performed in the state.
House Bill 364, sponsored by Rep. Steve R. Christiansen (R-West Jordan), would require abortion providers to perform ultrasounds on women seeking abortions 72 hours before the procedure.
The bill would require abortion doctors to also give each woman seeking an abortion the opportunity to view the ultrasound image (or have it described to her) and listen to the fetal heartbeat.
"Providing the best information to women, respecting them, acknowledging the difficult decision that they oftentimes need to make with regard to whether or not to receive an abortion is the best thing to do," Rep. Christiansen said.
Opponents say the bill serves no medical purpose and only adds to the stress an abortion may already cause for a woman.
"There is no medical indication for an additional ultrasound 72 hours prior to a termination. This bill would require me, as a practicing obstetrician, to go against the standard of care," said Dr. Marcela SMID, OB/GYN.
The bill would also establish civil and criminal penalties for non-compliant doctors, including fines of $100,000 for the first offense.
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