A bill that requires women planning to have an abortion to undergo an ultrasound is to be considered in the US state of Tennessee.
It comes after an amendment was made to the state’s constitution earlier this month, which paves the way for pro-life legislation.
Republican politician Rick Womick introduced the proposals requiring ultrasounds, and hopes the change in the law will “fully inform the mother of what she is doing”.
He feels the measure would help “protect the emotional and mental health of women across the state of Tennessee”.
“Right now Planned Parenthood and all abortion clinics do ultrasounds before they perform the abortion. All this bill would say is look, let the mother see the picture and hear the heartbeat, that’s all this bill would do”, he said.
Under the proposals, the technician would be required to show the ultrasound image to the woman, or to describe the image if she refuses to look.
House Speaker Beth Harwell has pledged to introduce similar bills, including restoring mandatory counselling, a waiting period and clinic regulations.
The constitutional amendment which opens the door for such legislation was passed with 53 per cent of voters in the state backing the change.
The amendment says: “Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion.
The people retain the right through their elected state representatives and state senators to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother.”
Pro-abortionists have filed a lawsuit challenging the vote count, but it does not prevent politicians introducing new bills while the case is being decided.