Tag Archives: ultrasound

Abortion Ultrasound Bill Shelved by Sponsors

News release from Senate Republican Caucus:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – State Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) and Representative Rick Womick (R-Rockvale) announced today they will not seek passage of a bill this year to require abortion providers show or describe an ultrasound image to a woman before the procedure can be performed. The lawmakers said they will focus on passage of Senator Joint Resolution (SJR) 127, a pivotal constitutional amendment initiative which will come before voters in 2014 that would allow the legislature to put abortion laws into place within the bounds of “Roe v. Wade.”
“This constitutional resolution is the cornerstone of future legislation to protect life in Tennessee,” said Senator Tracy. “We will be focusing all of our efforts on promoting its passage on the 2014 ballot.”
Tracy was a co-prime sponsor of SJR 127, which was passed by the General Assembly in the 106th and 107th General Assemblies. It addresses a State Supreme Court decision in 2000 that struck down provisions in Tennessee law allowing women to receive “informed consent” information about the surgery and to wait 48 hours before they receive an abortion. The state’s high court also ruled against a state requirement that all abortions after the first trimester be performed in a hospital. That ruling made Tennessee more liberal than the U.S. Supreme Court required in “Roe v. Wade” and made the right to an abortion a “fundamental right” in Tennessee. SJR 127, if adopted, provides that the right to an abortion is only protected under the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Tracy Defends Ultrasound Bill

State Sen. Jim Tracy defended himself Wednesday against House Democrats who say his legislation requiring women to undergo ultrasounds before abortion is a politically motivated move that would invade doctor-patient relationships, reports the Daily News Journal.
“The protection of human life and the unborn is very important to me,” said Tracy, a Shelbyville Republican who represents a portion of Rutherford County. He added he believes in the measure “from the bottom of my heart.”
Tracy, who announced he is running against U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, in the 2014 Republican primary for the 4th District that includes Rutherford County, contends the bill is consistent with his views and is simply an effort to inform pregnant women before they make a “life-altering decision.”
When he announced his candidacy last month at Reeves-Sain Drug Store in Murfreesboro, Tracy made note of his 100 percent pro-life voting record and accused DesJarlais of deceiving voters in last year’s election.
Records made public after the vote showed that DesJarlais agreed for his former wife to have two abortions.


UPDATE Note: See also Andy Sher’s report on the same subject.

Democrats Denounce Bill Requiring Ultrasound Before Abortion

News release from House Democratic Caucus:
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – House Democrats are denouncing legislation filed by Sen. Jim Tracy (R-14) which would intrude on the doctor-patient relationship and violate patient privacy. The bill, SB632, would require that a woman seeking to terminate a pregnancy be forced to undergo a medically unnecessary ultrasound procedure. If the woman declines to view the image of the ultrasound, the doctor would be forced to describe the fetus while the woman listens.
“Tennessee’s women should not have to suffer more intrusive laws that violate their right to privacy just so Sen. Tracy can polish his conservative credentials in his race against Congressman Scott DesJarlais,” said Rep. Sherry Jones (D-59). “Republicans have spent the past three years complaining about how the government shouldn’t stand between a patient and their doctor, but with this legislation, that is exactly what they are trying to do.”
SB632 is nearly identical to a law passed in 2010 by the Oklahoma State Legislature. Oklahoma HB2780 required the doctor to perform an ultrasound and describe the fetus to the patient. In December of 2012, the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that declared this law unconstitutional per the Oklahoma State Constitution.
“If Sen. Tracy is truly interested in preventing abortions, he should take the money that we will have to pay to defend this potentially unconstitutional law, and put it towards preventative contraception, prenatal health care, and pre-K education,” said Rep. Gloria Johnson (D-13). “As a woman and a teacher, I wish my fellow legislators would focus less time on trying to play doctor, and more time on helping women gain access to quality health care, a good education, and higher-paying jobs.”
BACKGROUND:
SB632: As introduced, requires that an ultrasound be performed prior to an abortion, with an exception for medical emergencies. – Amends TCA Title 39, Chapter 15; Title 63, Chapter 6; Title 63, Chapter 9 and Title 68, Chapter 11. http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=SB0632&ga=108
Oklahoma HB2780 requires that women seeking an abortion undergo a fetal ultrasound procedure, and requires doctors to describe the fetus to the patient. http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2009-10%20ENR/hB/HB2780%20ENR.PDF
Oklahoma Case No. CV – 2010 – 533: Nova Health Systems v. E Scott Pruitt. Oklahoma court case finding HB2780 unconstitutional. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/60576527/Nova%20Health%20Systems%20v.%20Oklahoma%20AG.TIF