Pennsylvania abortion lawsWhile the southern states may be getting all the attention for their proposed abortion laws, Pennsylvania is also considering a law with far reaching implications for abortions. Referred to as the "Women's Right to Know Act," H.B. 1077  would require a woman to undergo an ultrasound 24 hours before an abortion, that an ultrasound picture be placed in her line of sight, and that she be given the opportunity to hear the fetal heartbeat.

According to this article, the bill would additionally require the medical professional performing the ultrasound to record whether or not the woman looked at the ultrasound display or listened to the heartbeat, and record the data in her permanent medical file.

The law takes it another step further, and requires the woman to present a document containing that information to the doctor performing her abortion, as a permission slip of sorts. This required documentation carries the requirement of printouts of "an image which is of sufficient quality to be used in determining gestational age."

While the law does not state whether an abdominal or transvaginal ultrasound image is required, as I blogged about previously, abdominal ultrasounds are not possible at early stages in pregnancy, and given the fact that Some 88 percent of all abortions are performed during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which researches ab
ortion-related issues, it is presumably the more invasive form that would be required.

Currently, seven states have laws mandating some form of pre-abortion ultrasound exam.