FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 19, 2020
Salt Lake City, UT – Today, Representative Steve Christiansen’s ultrasound bill was numbered. The bill, H.B. 364 Abortion Revisions, would mandate that a physician give a woman an ultrasound, describe the images produced by the ultrasound, and make the cardiac rhythm audible if possible. The bill includes a $100,000 fine for any physician who does not comply on the first offense, and a $250,000 fine for each subsequent offense.
Lauren Simpson, policy director for Alliance for a Better Utah, issued the following statement:
“Representative Christiansen is proposing that Utah doctors force a woman to look away from an ultrasound if she doesn’t want to see it and request that audio be turned down or off if she doesn’t want to hear it. This is a cruel attempt to take away a woman’s agency at an incredibly sensitive time.
“Under Utah law, women already have the option to watch an ultrasound and listen to that cardiac rhythm if she chooses. Forcing that experience on someone while permitting her to “avert her eyes” or request for the volume to be lowered or turned off is not a legitimate exception to this mandate. The sole purpose of this bill is to punish women for making the deeply complicated and personal decision to have an abortion. ”
Alliance for a Better Utah is a nonprofit that holds politicians accountable and advocates for progressive policies that make Utah an even better place. The organization improves the lives of all Utahns through advocacy, transparency, and accountability in Utah politics, policy, and government. More information at www.betterutah.org.