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Bill would require abortion ultrasounds

MADISON (WRN)  Proposed legislation would require an ultrasound prior to an abortion in Wisconsin. There are several Republican-authored abortion bills moving through the legislature, but this one may be the most contentious. since opponents see it as the state coming between doctors and patients.

State Senator Mary Lazich wants to require doctors to perform the procedure prior to abortions – although women would not be compelled to view the results. “Regardless of whether it’s a normal, planned pregnancy to be carried to term or whatever it might be, that’s a standard of health care that we should be mandating, because if it’s not being done, that’s some pretty shoddy health care,” said Lazich. “It’s a standard of care that no woman should be denied, regardless of her decision to terminate or not terminate.

“This really is an intrusion into the physician-patient relationship, and it’s unacceptable.” said Dr. Tosha Wetterneck, an internal medicine doctor and immediate past president of the Wisconsin Medical Society.

Wetterneck said the woman and her doctor are in the best position to make the decision about whether or not an ultrasound is indicated. Nicole Safar of Planned Parenthood said the bill is “a very inappropriate use of state power.”

Lazich’s bill (SB 206) would also require physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the facility where they perform abortions. Wetterneck said that could be problematic in many rural areas of the state.

A similar bill is being considered by the state Assembly, and that measure also had a public hearing on Wednesday.