Several members of the Arizona State Legislature want to force doctors to offer to show women seeking an abortion ultrasound images of the fetus before they end their pregnancy.
Supporters of the bill, introduced by Republican Representative Kimberly Yee of Phoenix, say it's designed to give women more information about abortion, when in reality its goal is to scare women into changing their minds.
The bill is just one of several bills introduced this year -- by all the usual pro-life suspects in the state legislature -- that adds bizarre requirements for doctors who provide abortions.
Representative Steve Montenegro, who's also signed on to this bill, introduced two bills this year that would make getting an abortion based on race or gender a felony. As we learned yesterday, there's no evidence that anyone is getting abortions based on either of those reasons is a problem in Arizona.
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Below is the text from the bill:
A. An abortion shall not be performed or induced without the voluntary and informed consent of the woman on whom the abortion is to be performed or induced. Except in the case of a medical emergency and in addition to the requirements of section 36-2153, consent to an abortion is voluntary and informed only if both of the following are true:
1. At least one hour before the woman having any part of an abortion performed or induced, and before the administration of any anesthesia or medication in preparation for the abortion on the woman, the physician who is to perform the abortion, the referring physician or a qualified person working in conjunction with either physician shall:
(a) Perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the woman undergoing the abortion.
(b) Offer to provide the woman with an opportunity to view the active ultrasound image of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child if the heartbeat is audible. The active ultrasound image must be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community, contain the dimensions of the unborn child and accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs, if present or viewable, of the unborn child. The auscultation of fetal heart tone must be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community.
(c) Offer to provide the woman with a simultaneous explanation of what the ultrasound is depicting, including the presence and location of the unborn child within the uterus, the number of unborn children depicted, the dimensions of the unborn child and the presence of any external members and internal organs, if present or viewable.
(d) Offer to provide the patient with a physical picture of the ultrasound image of the unborn child.
2. The woman certifies in writing before the abortion that she has been given the opportunity to view the active ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child if the heartbeat is audible and that she opted to view or not view the active ultrasound image and hear or not hear the heartbeat of the unborn child.
B. A physician who knowingly violates this section commits an act of unprofessional conduct and is subject to license suspension or revocation pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17.
C. In addition to other remedies available under the common or statutory law of this state, any of the following may file a civil action to obtain appropriate relief for a violation of this section:
1. A woman on whom an abortion has been performed without her informed consent as required by this section.
2. The father of the unborn child if married to the mother at the time she received the abortion, unless the pregnancy resulted from the plaintiff's criminal conduct.
3. The maternal grandparents of the unborn child if the mother was not at least eighteen years of age at the time of the abortion, unless the pregnancy resulted from the plaintiff's criminal conduct.
D. A civil action filed pursuant to subsection C of this section shall be brought in the superior court in the county in which the woman on whom the abortion was performed resides and may be based on a claim that failure to obtain informed consent was a result of simple negligence, gross negligence, wantonness, wilfulness, intention or any other legal standard of care. Relief pursuant to subsection C of this section includes any of the following:
1. Money damages for all psychological, emotional and physical injuries resulting from the violation of this section.
2. Statutory damages in an amount equal to five thousand dollars or three times the cost of the abortion, whichever is greater.
3. Reasonable attorney fees and costs.
E. A civil action brought pursuant to this section must be initiated within six years after the violation occurred. END_STATUTE
Sec. 6. Title 36, chapter 36, article 1, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding section 36-3604, to read:
START_STATUTE36-3604. Use of telemedicine for abortion prohibited; penalty; definition
A. A health care provider shall not use telemedicine to provide an abortion.
B. A health care provider who knowingly violates this section commits an act of unprofessional conduct and is subject to license suspension or revocation pursuant to title 32.
C. For the purposes of this section, "abortion" has the same meaning prescribed in section 36-2151.
Read it in its entirety here.
The bill won approval on a 6-3 vote Wednesday by the House's health and human services committee. It will head to the full House after lawmakers review whether it's even legal.