Bill would require ultrasounds for Ohio women seeking abortion - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Ohio lawmakers discuss bill aimed at curbing abortions

A Republican-backed measure would require Ohio women seeking an abortion to first undergo an ultrasound. A Republican-backed measure would require Ohio women seeking an abortion to first undergo an ultrasound.
COLUMBUS, OH (FOX19) -

A Republican-backed measure would require Ohio women seeking an abortion to first undergo an ultrasound.

Doctors would have to describe to pregnant women 'all relevant features' of the fetus. The bill would also require doctors to tell women that the procedure increases the risk of breast cancer.

House Bill 200 is trying to curb the amount of abortions in Ohio. Along with an ultrasound, the proposal extends the waiting period for abortions from 24 hours to 48 hours, something not everyone agrees with.

"It's not something you just wake up one morning and say wow I hope I get to make that decision today so I think adding these barriers it's not right to try and shame women and coarse them into something," said Crystal Wilmhoff.

Wilmhoff is a nurse practitioner with Planned Parenthood, and she says the information on abortions is readily available 'if' the woman wants it. 

"It is offered to people but to mandate that it has to happen, I don't think is correct," Wilmhoff expressed to FOX19's Brett Hoffland.

Paula Westwood with Right to Life argues since abortions began in the 70's, there are many women who say it hasn't been a healthy choice for them simply because they weren't informed.

"They need to decide and know all the facts before they make such a critical decision, because once they have an abortion, there's no going back," said Westwood.

The bill also requires that doctors inform the patients about their risk of future health problems.

"It can often result in breast cancer, especially in a young woman who has an abortion, with her first abortion, it's the simple hormonal changes," Westwood explained. 

"That would be like saying if a woman had a miscarriage, every time you had a miscarriage then you're going to be more at risk for having breast cancer," said Wilmhoff.

We asked our Facebook followers, "Do you think Ohio women should be required to undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion?" Hundreds commented one way or the other, adding to the ongoing debate.

It's unclear what kind of ultrasound would be required, but both women agree the best interest of the patient is what's important.

The bill currently has support from 35 House GOP representatives. If approved, it will go to a vote before the full House.

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