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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 13, 2011

Florida and Texas: A Guide to Mandatory Ultrasound Legislation

A guide to mandatory ultrasounds and the anti-choice lawmakers who want to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship

Govs. Rick Perry (R) of Texas and Rick Scott (R) of Florida both recently indicated that they will sign into law intrusive mandatory ultrasound measures that invite state lawmakers to interfere in the personal, private decisions that should be made between a woman and her doctor.

NARAL Pro-Choice America has tracked intrusive mandatory ultrasound attacks as one of the most dangerous anti-choice state trends in 2011.  As you are writing on these important issues, please feel free to use the information below.

What are mandatory ultrasound bills, really?

Mandatory ultrasound bills interfere in the doctor-patient relationship by forcing a woman to undergo an ultrasound before receiving abortion care, even if she does not ask for it or a doctor does not recommend it.

Which states have ultrasound laws?

Before the 2011 session, 21 states had some type of ultrasound provision on the books.  So far this year, anti-choice lawmakers have introduced 28 ultrasound-related bills in 14 states: AL, AR, AZ, CT, FL, IN, KY, MI, MT, NC, OH, RI, TX, VA.

Once Govs. Perry and Scott make good on their threats to sign mandatory ultrasound proposals, anti-choice lawmakers in three states (Arizona, Texas, Florida) will have enacted mandatory ultrasound proposals in 2011.

Three ultrasound bills passed in 2010.  In Florida, the bill was vetoed by former Gov. Charlie Crist.  In Oklahoma, the new law is under litigation.  In Louisiana, the law has taken effect.

What is NARAL Pro-Choice America’s position on mandatory ultrasounds?

NARAL’s position is that every woman should have the services and information she wants, and which are medically necessary.  Unfortunately, these laws twist that concept and require women to have ultrasounds - even against their will, even if the doctor recommends against it. 

Want more information?

In addition to ultrasound-related legislation, NARAL Pro-Choice America is tracking bills on a number of fronts. Please feel free to consult a mid-session update of state legislative sessions that we released on April 28.

If you have any questions regarding this topic, please contact Ted Miller or Reesa Kossoff in the communications department at (202) 973-3032 or by email: TMiller@ProChoiceAmerica.org or RKossoff@ProChoiceAmerica.org

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Contact:
Samantha Gordon, 202.973.3032


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