Today, Senator Clay Scofield released a statement outlining some of the details of SB12. Some opponents of efforts to fully inform women have resorted to equating the use of one of the most common ultrasound devices found in any obstetrician’s office to rape. Not only are these allegations silly but they undermine the work this bill does to protect the sanctity of life and the safety of women.
Last legislative session, I sponsored SB 308 which required physicians to perform an ultrasound prior to performing an abortion – medical emergencies and miscarriages being the exceptions. Similarly, in the 2012 legislative session, I have again sponsored this same bill, now SB 12.
Unlike last legislative session, the Right to Know and See Act has garnered a lot more attention, some negative and some positive. While this is the same bill that passed the Alabama Senate with overwhelming support just one year ago, and has been pre-filed since June of 2011, many have jumped at the chance to criticize this legislation and create a media frenzy over portions of the bill, as well as distribute misinformation.
The two main criticisms of this legislation focus on whether an invasive ultrasound method will be forced on a woman, and the assertion by some that this law will be applicable in the case of a miscarriage.
While it was my intent that the method of ultrasound would be a choice, I am committed to amending this law to specify that it is the woman’s choice which method of ultrasound that she would be more comfortable with. Further, this bill was never intended to include cases of a miscarriage or other preterm delivery. In an effort to clear up any confusion regarding miscarriages, i will also be offering amendments which will reinforce this exception.
Other detractors of the bill have falsely stated that the bill requires the woman to look at the ultrasound. This is simply not the case. On the contrary the bill provides the woman the explicit ability not to see the ultrasound.
It is my hope that by clarifying the exceptions and offering patient choice regarding ultrasound that this bill will receive the same support from the men and women of the senate that it received last year. I want to offer legislation that will simultaneously protect life and and shows respect and compassion towards women. We just want women to have the right information at their disposal to make an informed decision.
- Clay Scofield