An ultrasound bill passed in the Iowa House of Representatives late Thursday afternoon on a 57 to 39 vote with bipartisan support. The bill, HF 58, sponsored by State Representative Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls) was floor-managed by State Representative Joel Fry (R-Osceola) during debate. If the bill is passed into law it would require a physician to certify a woman’s medical record prior to having an abortion to ensure a woman has had ultrasound imaging taken of the unborn child, and was given the opportunity to view the ultrasound, hear a description of the ultrasound and hear the heartbeat of the child.
“Opponents called the bill senseless and demeaning to women. They also said abortion providers are already doing ultrasounds”, stated Jenifer Bowen, Executive Director of Iowa Right to Life. “We believe the only way this bill is demeaning to women is if the staff there are unable to provide tactful care. This bill prevents the worst actors from performing substandard care for women, this bill acknowledges that research shows that ultrasounds save lives, and (like many other examples) codifies a standard of practice that will save the lives of children.”
Ultrasounds, prolife advocates state, have been an effective tool in helping mothers choose life for their unborn children. “Ultrasounds provide valuable information for someone making a pregnancy decision. For instance – is there is fetal cardiac activity when there should be? Is this is an intrauterine pregnancy? What is the gestational age? All of these factors can be important for a young woman in determining what her decision might be,” Brenda Knollenberg, director of the Agape Pregnancy Center in Des Moines, told Caffeinated Thoughts in an interview back in January.
Twenty-five states have some form of ultrasound law enacted. Ten states (Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia) have enacted an ultrasound law that similar to HF 58.
The bill was co-sponsored by State Representatives Dawn Pettengill (R-Mount Auburn), Joel Fry (R-Osceola), John Wills (R-Spirit Lake), Norlin Mommsen (R-DeWitt), Ralph Watts (R-Adel), Dean Fisher (R-Garwin), Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley), Tedd Gassman (R-Scarville), Sandy Salmon (R-Denver), Terry Baxter (R-Garner), Stan Gustafson (R-Cumming), Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights), and Steve Holt (R-Denison).