Senators urge educating abortion patients before procedure

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

JEFFERSON CITY — Amy Knudsen testified at a Senate hearing Monday that if she had seen an ultrasound of her baby 20 years ago, she never would have had an abortion.

"I would have seen a baby, no doubt about it," said Knudsen, who told legislators she had an abortion at 14. "I would have had a head, torso, arms, legs."

She was speaking to a bill that would require that women be offered an ultrasound at least 24 hours prior to an abortion.

"The most effective way to protect children and keep women from being wounded for life is to ensure that women facing unplanned pregnancies have received factual information concerning their decision," Sen. Rob Mayer, R-Dexter, said at the hearing before the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

Opposition centered on the argument that an ultrasound would be ineffective.

"Women who come in the day of the procedure — they've made up their mind," said Michelle Trupiano, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. Most women choose not to see an ultrasound, she said.

Abortion rights opponents say seeing a live fetus would persuade a woman to forgo an abortion. According to legislative research staff, 11,580 abortions were performed in Missouri in 2008.

The bill would also require physicians to inform abortion patients of the potential implications of procedures.

Opponents of the bill argued that some physical implications carry small risk.

"It's a little like taking a bazooka to a gnat," NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri Executive Director Pamela Sumners said.

The risk of psychological trauma after an abortion is "built on bad science," she said.

Another bill discussed at the hearing would expand the data provided to the state when an abortion is performed.

This legislation would require physicians to collect information from women about reasons they sought an abortion, such as medical, social or economic factors.

Sen. Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles County, said the bill would allow lawmakers to objectively get information about abortions, with all data being voluntary, confidential and unidentifiable.

"Folks on both sides of the debate believe we need to reduce abortions," Dempsey said.

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Carolyn Bond February 16, 2010 | 2:05 p.m.

Ah, that was in the 80's. Didn't they have Birth Control then? Lady, you can't make me believe at the age of 14, you had no clue. Just mind your own business. These women who choose abortion, will have to answer for their choice. You won't sway them, with an Ultrasound. I don't believe in Abortion, at least not for myself. I don't try to dictate to other women, what they should do.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro February 16, 2010 | 2:28 p.m.

Here's an article about stats from the other side of the pond...
("Thirteen girls under 18 were among the group of women who were having at least their fourth abortion.
Repeat abortions were most common among women aged 18-24, suggesting the procedure is seen as an easy way out by those who become pregnant at university or while starting their careers.
In all, 198,499 abortions were carried out in England and Wales last year, a rise of almost 30,000 in the decade since Labour came to power.
Nadine Dorries, the Tory MP who earlier this year spearheaded a campaign to cut the abortion time limit, said: 'The figures show very clearly that for some, easy access to abortion has fostered a careless attitude to contraception and has itself become a form of contraception when required.'
Citing research which showed having an abortion raises the risk of mental health problems later in life, she said: 'Young women have the right to know the consequences of abortion, particularly repeat abortions.'
Julia Millington, of pro-life alliance Alive and Kicking, said it was clear abortion was available on the demand in the UK.
'The figures will continue to increase and we will pay the price later,' she said.
'As women, we really have to seriously consider what we are doing to our bodies, our minds and our babies.'
The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children claimed doctors were too quick to perform abortions that women might later regret.")
Record numbers of women are having two or more abortions:
Read more:

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