Introduced by Rep. Abigail Whelan (R-Ramsey) and Sen. Michelle Benson (R -Ham Lake), HF 3194/SF 2849 would require providers to offer patients the option of viewing an ultrasound prior to an abortion.
UPDATE 4/9/18: This bill has passed its relevant committees in both the Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate. It now awaits action by the full House and Senate, with votes anticipated any time between late April and mid-May.
Patients already have the right to view their ultrasound. That’s not what this bill is about. This bill is about legislating the conversation that takes place between a doctor and a patient – which sets a dangerous precedent.
Doctors, not politicians, should determine the health care needs of patients.
In case that wasn’t obvious, leading health care organizations, such as the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Women’s Medical Association and the American Public Health Association oppose legislation that imposes specific requirements for medical procedures because these requirements interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.
In Minnesota, the Minnesota Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (MN ACOG) and the Minnesota Medical Association (MMA) both oppose this bill. Governor Mark Dayton has also voiced his opposition.
This type of interference in the patient-doctor relationship is more and more common as state legislatures around the country pass similar laws – a practice which, in a recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, the nation’s major leading medical organizations denounced as “inappropriate legislative interference” and noted that lawmakers “increasingly intrude into the realm of medical practice, often to satisfy political agendas without regard to established, evidence-based guidelines for care.”
Patients deserve their physicians’ best medical judgment and counsel, not unnecessary requirements mandated by politicians.
Despite opponents’ claims, this bill is NOT about patient’s right to know all the medical information before they make a decision. Patients already have that right. This bill is about shaming a person for their decision to end a pregnancy because it assumes they has not carefully thought about the decision.