Good afternoon. My name is Richard Nelson, executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center, a Kentucky-based nonprofit public policy group. I appreciate the opportunity to testify in favor of HB 2—the Ultrasound Bill.
CPC favors HB 2 because it is empowering to women. It provides pregnant mothers contemplating abortion with all of the latest technology and information available.
At its heart, this bill is about choice. More precisely, it's about making an informed choice. As it is, women seeking an abortion are denied all the information necessary to make an informed choice.
HB 2 makes clear that the woman has a choice to look away from the ultrasound. She has a choice to decline to hear the abortionist's explanation of the ultrasound. The only choice denied here, is that of the abortionist who would prefer to keep women in the dark by withholding critical medical information. That choice—if it can be considered a choice—will no longer be allowed if this bill passes.
To those who say it is a burden on women. I ask, how is giving women more information, all the medical information available—a burden? To say that women are better off with less medical information when making one of the most important decisions in their lives is absurd. It is also patronizing. Opposition to this bill implies that the woman cannot handle the ultrasound information about her unborn child. Opposition to this bill also is effectively making a decision for many women who would rather have the ultrasound information provided.
I will admit that there is a burden involved with this legislation… . But the burden is on the abortionist. They will be required to provide information they have systematically kept from a women—information they're already obtaining as part of the abortion process.
I believe that opposition to this bill is based more on fear of abortion being curtailed than it arises out of credible concern that it will somehow harm women. This legislation is past due. It's time to stop hiding medical information from women who need it the most. Thank you for your time.
Note: This testimony on HB-2 Ultrasound Bill was given before the Senate Health and Welfare Committee in Frankfort on January 6, 2016.