Colorado lawmakers blocked a bill Thursday that would have required physicians to inform women seeking to abort that they can conduct and view an ultrasound prior to aborting, as well as listen to the heartbeat of their unborn child.
HB18 — “A Women’s Right To Accurate Healthcare Information” — would have ensured a woman has the opportunity to see or forego seeing her ultrasound, and required women seeking to abort receive full information about the procedural elements and risks of abortion. The bill also posited that women seeking to abort and decide to have an ultrasound can choose between an abdominal or vaginal ultrasound.
Lead sponsor of the HB18, GOP Rep. Lori Saine, told committee members Thursday that the measure was not an attempt to disenfranchise women getting abortions, but rather an effort to make sure that they are fully informed regarding abortion. The bill failed however, in a 7-6 party line vote in the Health, Insurance and Environment Committee, according to the Colorado Independent.
“If I had seen my baby, if I had heard a heartbeat, I really don’t think I could have stopped that heartbeat,” Colorado Campaign for Life executive director Christy Rodriguez said during testimony.
Other doctors and pro-abortion women gave different testimony, however, positing that the bill might encourage physicians to give out misleading information that would encourage women not to abort and make it more difficult for women who want to have abortions to do so.
Opponent of the bill Dr. Dawn Riley Duval — a co-founder of Soul 2 Soul, a faith-based racial justice organization — called the bill an “unconscionable” barrier to reproductive health services, the Colorado Independent reports. “Time and time again I have witnessed the beauty and efficacy of religious communities perverted in the quest to use individual beliefs as a license to discriminate against women,” she said.
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