Sue Ella Deadwyler's WMVV Radio Commentary, 2/6/07
Since you were a little thing, you probably heard that old saying, "There's more than one way to skin a cat," and that's true. In fact, legislators play all the angles so they'll win, at least, some of the time. It's not unusual for the same or similar bills to be simultaneously introduced in both House and Senate. In fact, that's the strategy used last year to get a bill passed to inform parents of school clubs and extracurricular activities. If that bill had not been introduced in both House and Senate, it would not have passed.
So, the same scenario might work with today's topic. Yesterday, I talked about H.B. 147 Representative Mills introduced in the House on January 25. Today I'll talk about Senator Nancy Schaefer's S.B. 66 she introduced January 29 as a follow-up to her bill that died last year. Both bills would require ultrasound or sonogram exams for women seeking abortions.
Technology has improved so much that a specifically sensitive camera can photograph internal organs of the human body. In this case, the camera scans the contents of the womb to reveal in living color the tiny human growing and moving inside. If either of these bills passes, patients would have the privilege of "seeing" their baby long before it emerges at the end of nine months. They would know its approximate size, development and, probably, its sex.
Both of these bills require physicians that perform abortions to either provide equipment to do ultrasounds or sonograms or refer patients to facilities where such equipment is available free-of-charge. These moving pictures of the unborn child are extremely valuable to physicians who want to know the condition of the baby and whether it requires treatment or corrective surgery that can be done before it's born.
You might remember the phenomenal picture of a baby's hand reaching outside the mother's womb to grip the finger of the doctor who performed corrective surgery on it before it was born. The surgery was completed and the baby continued in the womb until the day of its birth. In addition to being helpful to doctors, ultrasounds and sonograms could be the deciding factor when prospective parents are contemplating abortion.
One interesting part of these bills is the free-will factor. While both bills require women seeking abortions to submit to ultrasound or sonogram examinations, neither bill forces the women to look at the pictures or hear the baby's heart-beat that's audible along with the images. Women may not refuse to have the ultrasound or sonogram, but they have every right to refuse to look at the results or allow the process to cloud their decisions. These are good bills. Yesterday I asked you to call about the House bill. Today, I want you to call Senator Don Thomas at 404-656-6436. He's a medical doctor from Dalton, Georgia. Tell him how much you'd appreciate having S.B. 66 become law. Just think of all those pictures the almost-mama and the almost-daddy can proudly pass around to their friends, even before the baby's born.