Ultrasound laws added in Ohio and South Dakota

Ultrasound laws added in Ohio and South Dakota


Ohio and South Dakota now join 11 other states with laws in place that require abortion clinics to offer pregnant mothers the chance to view an ultrasound of their child before they decide whether or not to abort.

On Friday, Ohio’s Gov. Ted Strickland signed the ultrasound bill into law. Interestingly, physicians who disobey the law risk losing their medical license in Ohio. The new requirements will take effect 90 days from last Friday.

The new South Dakota law requires facilities that perform abortions to offer the pregnant woman “an opportunity to view a sonogram of her unborn child" before an abortion is done. The law also requires the facility to keep a written record of the woman's response, including her signature.

The abortion clinics must also create an annual report of the records and submit it to the state health department. The report, at a minimum, must include the number of women refusing and accepting the sonogram offer, as well as whether those women decided to abort their children.

Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin also have similar laws on the books. Louisiana’s law requires an ultrasound be performed if the pregnant woman chooses to have one and she is over 20 weeks pregnant. Kentucky is also considering a law requiring the sonic images be offered.

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