From the Office of State Senator Dan Patrick

For Immediate Release
April 8, 2008

Contact: Logan Spence
(512) 463-0107 / (512) 461-3448

Florida prepares to pass a bill requiring ultrasounds prior to abortions

AUSTIN - On Wednesday, April 2, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that requires ultrasound images be made available as part of a patient's informed consent for an abortion. House Bill 257 goes to the Florida Senate where its companion is being carried by the Senate Majority Leader.

"The pro-life community of Florida has accomplished a major victory by passing this bill and I hope the Florida Senate passes this bill quickly," stated Texas State Senator Dan Patrick.

Senator Patrick filed this same bill in the Texas Senate during the 2007 legislative session. Senate Bill 920 passed the Texas Senate by a vote of 22 to 8, but the bill failed to pass in the Texas House of Representatives. "I was very disappointed to see this important bill die in the House as a result of Speaker politics, and I will certainly raise this issue again in 2009."

Like Florida's House Bill 257, Senate Bill 920 required abortion providers to perform and make available an ultrasound prior to performing the pregnancy termination procedure. The mother-to-be would have the option to view the image prior to terminating her pregnancy. The ultrasound requirement would be added to the "informed consent" process already codified in the Woman's Right to Know Act passed in 2003.

"I don't understand why an abortion clinic wouldn't want their clients to have this important information before making such a serious decision affecting their mental and physical wellbeing," Senator Patrick remarked. "Ultrasounds are readily available and often considered part of the standard of care for abortion procedures. The medical community is already performing these ultrasounds and patients have a right to fully informed consent before pursuing this invasive procedure."