South Dakota Senate and House pass abortion sonogram bills

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The South Dakota House and Senate passed similar bills Tuesday requiring doctors to offer pregnant women the chance to see sonograms before they decide to get abortions

If a woman didn't want to see the sonogram, she would have to sign a statement that the offer had been made.

The Senate version of the bill passed 21 to 13. A slightly different House version passed 38 to 31 later Tuesday afternoon.

Sen. Dennis Schmidt, R-Rapid City, who sponsored the Senate bill, SB88, argued the sonogram requirement would simply improve "informed consent" for women.

Schmidt said sonograms are performed for a variety of procedures, not just abortions, and he said patients are routinely invited to watch. "I watched the procedure done on my wife for hip surgery and I thought, 'This is phenomenal,'" he said. "This was great information."

Read it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture

17 Comments
Posted January 31, 2008 at 12:40 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Charley wrote:

Well, one can almost hear the South Dakota Episcopals wailing between sips of a Bombay Sapphire Martini.  They certainly won’t want their little angel to have to face the reality that the baby really does already have ten little fingers and ten little toes.

January 31, 2:44 pm | [comment link]
2. Timothy Fountain wrote:

The politics of abortion is different here in SD.  You don’t have a big liberal feminist presence - most of that is imported from out of state (and the People’s Republic of Minnesota is just next door).  Planned Parenthood’s only significant presence is here in Sioux Falls.  Oh, and then there’s TEC’s tiny chaplaincy to all things left wing.
The D/Lakota culture places a high spiritual value on motherhood, and although their are Native pro-abortion voices, the Reservation and urban Indians tend to be against abortion.
The “pro-choice” influence is strongest in the very Libertarian folks in small communities west of the Missouri River.  They value individualism and limited government and so are radically conservative on economics while radically liberal on “social issues.”
There is strong Evangelical and Roman Catholic presence in the state and this moves the pro-life perspective.

January 31, 2:47 pm | [comment link]
3. Steven in Falls Church wrote:

Whoa.  This is a story that needs to be fleshed out more:

On the House side, Rep. Deb Peters, R-Hartford, who voted against the House version, HB1193, offered a different medical perspective.

“With my first child, I was told that my child was going to be born without a head, that the ... spinal cord was going to be outside the vertebra in the back,” she said.

Peters said she had to undergo many tests.

“I had to do numerous things, and in that situation, you’re faced with a life-and-death decision. It’s not a decision that’s taken lightly.”

Peters, who opposes abortion, voted against the sonogram bill. “It’s not doing what you think it’s doing,” she said. “You’re going to be torturing women like me who have to make a life-and-death decision, and it’s not fair.”

(Peters later said she had the baby, who turned out to be a normal, healthy child.)

How does one go from a prognosis of a headless child to a normal, healthy newborn?  Was one of those tests a sonogram perchance?

January 31, 3:10 pm | [comment link]
4. John316 wrote:

I would question the value of the sonograms that might be offered anyway.  I never could, pardon the pun, make heads or tails out of my wife’s early pregnancy sonograms.  In the early stages of pregnancy, we especially needed an interpretation from an expert.

January 31, 3:18 pm | [comment link]
5. Charley wrote:

The new ones are a helluva lot clearer.

January 31, 3:29 pm | [comment link]
6. Oldman wrote:

My children were born long before sonograms. All my grandchildren were born more recently and all were seen in their mom’s womb. I think the curiosity factor.. knowing what clothes to buy etc.. made my sons and their wives want to have them. I saw the pictures, not the live sonogram itself. I couldn’t tell a thing, except it was some sort of little feller growing in there. It made me marvel at God’s creation. I hope seeing a sonogram of a baby will stop young mothers in trouble from killing that innocent little one.

January 31, 3:38 pm | [comment link]
7. Africanised Anglican wrote:

Seems to me it’d make a LOT of difference who’s doing the ultrasound.  When my wife’s obstetrician is TRYING to show us what the babies look like, we usually get a fairly-good view, often enhanced by the fact that as different parts of the baby come into view in rapid succession, the viewer’s mind naturally pieces them together into a more-perceptible whole.  In contrast, a “still” printout from the same ultrasound session can be much harder to make sense of.  One sometimes sees sonograms on which the technician has printed identifying comments, like “head” or “leg”, etc.  It’s one thing if the woman is shown footage of a live, cutely-squirming baby at 11 weeks; it’s another if an abortionist’s assistant, unmotivated to get a good, accurate view, focuses on unrecognizable parts and labels them “blob”, “tail”, etc.

January 31, 3:51 pm | [comment link]
8. The_Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

I always found South Dakota to be something of an enigma on this issue. I lived for for about 4 months a year or so ago. I was doing an internship on a group of churches on the Reservation. There were all kinds of pro-life signs and billboards floating around, but talking to most folks I met on the street, very few people had a strong opinion on the issue one way or the other.

January 31, 4:18 pm | [comment link]
9. PHW wrote:

The sonogram of my first child (a planned pregnancy) completely reversed my worldview regarding abortion.  When I saw the 16-week fetus moving about (it was too early to feel movement yet), all parts so visible and complete, I had a deep, sudden realization that I was looking at a person and not a “choice.”
I pray that it will do the same for the women seeking abortions.

January 31, 5:04 pm | [comment link]
10. Timothy Fountain wrote:

#8 just guessing but some of the noncommittal responses had to do with Res culture - it is impolite to express too much individual opinion in the face of a tribal perspective.

January 31, 5:05 pm | [comment link]
11. azusa wrote:

Good for SD. The case against abortion is based on scientific evidence. Fiat lux.

January 31, 6:18 pm | [comment link]
12. bwd45 wrote:

And who would be paying for these sonograms?  The woman who does not need it and does not request it?  The physician who does not want to offer medically unnecessary procedures to his or her patients?  Or the mostly Republican legislators who think this is a grand idea?

January 31, 7:15 pm | [comment link]
13. Courageous Grace wrote:

At 8 weeks, my husband and I saw the first sonogram for our son.  It looked a bit like a white blob on one side of a big black blob.  But while we watched it (live), we could see that white blob fluttering in a pattern.  That was my little baby’s HEARTBEAT!

George is now a week old, spitting up, pooping, eating, crying….and I wouldn’t trade this gift from God for anything.

My heart jumped and hubby couldn’t stop squeezing my hand when we saw that heartbeat.

8 weeks.

January 31, 7:48 pm | [comment link]
14. archangelica wrote:

#7 What you say is very true. I support this legislation 100% and know that it works as I’ve taken clients from Catholic Charities who were intent on abortion and then had a complete change of heart after seeing the sonogram carefully and lovingly explained at the Pregnancy Center. There are also given a picture of the sonogram to keep. It doesn’t always cause a woman to reconsider but the majority in my experience have kept thier babies and are now very happy to be mothers. My concern would be that Planned Parenthood would make no effort to lose a client and her $$$ by carefully conducting and explaining the sonogram. If they are the ones to do it they will purposefully skew and make no genuine effort to educate and inform. Still, I would support the legislation and hope that some hearts might still be changed in spite of the inevitable Planned Parenthood spin and obfuscation.

January 31, 11:54 pm | [comment link]
15. indie wrote:

To answer the “who’s going to pay for it” question, I checked several abortion clinic websites, and found that an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy and determine gestation is already included in the global fee for an abortion at all of the clinics. It would just be a matter of offering the woman a chance to see the ultrasound.

February 1, 10:33 am | [comment link]
16. MJD_NV wrote:

Congratulations, Grace, and welcome to motherhood!  The greatest calling in the world!
I’ll see your 8 weeks and raise you 5 - Got to see my younger son’s heartbeat at 5 weeks gestational.  amazing, isn’t it!

(Now, get off the computer & go take a nap, new mom! wink )

February 1, 11:31 am | [comment link]
17. deaconjohn25 wrote:

Debate on issues like this show the callous duplicity of the pro-abortion people.
    In every other endeavor most pro-abortion activists are strongly in favor of the idea that the more information the better; the more education the better.
    But NOT on abortion.  Any information or education that might lead a woman to decide in favor of life is adamantly and forcefully opposed by the pro-abortion crowd. And that is why they are really “pro-abortion” NOT “pro-choice” as the MSM fraudulently describes them. For real choice is based on information and education not on ignorance by design.

February 1, 8:30 pm | [comment link]
Registered members must log in to comment.




Next entry (above): Needing a Hail Mary, Fans Find a Monastery

Previous entry (below): John Quiggin: A million foreclosures

Return to blog homepage

Return to Mobile view (headlines)