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Ultrasound bill will be changed, says sponsor

Staff Report
Alabama Political Reporter

The sponsor of a controversial bill that would have forced women to receive internal ultrasounds before abortions said he will amend the legislation to allow the woman a choice in the procedure.

“I want to offer legislation that will simultaneously protect life and show respect and compassion towards women,” said Sen. Clay Scofield, R-Cullman, in a statement released Sunday evening. “We just want women to have the right information at their disposal to make an informed decision.”

A message left at Scofield’s office Monday was not returned.

The law as written requires a woman seeking an abortion to submit to an ultrasound test, through “a vaginal transducer or abdominal transducer, whichever would display the embryo or fetus more clearly.” It also requires the physician or technician performing the procedure to display the images and describe them to the woman, including information as to whether the fetus has died.

Physicians and technicians who failed to administer the ultrasound before an abortion or an attempted abortion could face up to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. In addition, the law would allow the woman, the father of the fetus or the grandparents to sue the physician for “actual and punitive damages.”

The ultrasound requirement would be waived if an abortion was needed to protect a woman from serious harm or death.

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