Under the guise of obtaining informed patient consent, this new law requires doctors to withhold pregnancy termination until an ultrasound is performed.
The new statute requires the person performing the ultrasound to describe the dimensions of the fetus, whether arms, legs and internal organs are visible and whether there is cardiac activity. It also requires the doctor to turn a screen depicting the ultrasound images toward the woman to see them.
“We’ve had patients leave the ultrasound room in tears because of what they had to hear. But no patient at the clinic had yet canceled an abortion after hearing a description of the fetus” said Linda Meek, executive director of Reproductive Services of Tulsa.
Meek said requiring women to listen to a description can be traumatic, she said, especially for rape and incest victims and women with fetal abnormalities or whose pregnancy threatens their own life.
The law states that either an abdominal or vaginal ultrasound, whichever gives the best image of the fetus, must be done. Neither the patient nor the doctor can decide which type of ultrasound to use, and the patient cannot opt out of the ultrasound and still have the procedure. In effect, then, the legislature has mandated that a woman have an instrument placed in her vagina for no medical benefit. The law makes no exception for victims of rape and incest.
More info here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyldVhqYLNI