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House lawmakers introduce a bill requiring women get ultrasound before having abortion

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A House committee overwhelmingly voted Wednesday to introduce a bill requiring women be given information about free ultrasounds before having an abortion.

Here's reporter Scott Logan with more.

Representative Ron Nate told committee members his proposal would require a woman be told at least 24 hours before having an abortion where she can get a free ultrasound. The purpose of the test, he said, would be to show a pregnant woman the unborn baby in her womb before she makes a final decision.

"If a woman is to have any real choice regarding abortion, she must be allowed information to all relevant facts about her unborn child and condition," said Rep. Nate. "Free ultrasound would enhance her right to make a truly informed decision."

Nat's bill would require only that the information be made available, a list to be compiled by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Some committee members had questions.

"Where would one go to get a free ultrasound? I'm not sure, a hospital, a doctor's office," asked Rep. Melissa Wintrow.

One place in Boise is Stanton Health Care Services, a pro-life pregnancy care center that clinic manager Angela Dwyer says could easily accommodate any increased flow of patients such a bill might create.

"We'll show them the chambers of the heart beating, very often you can see arms, legs moving," said Dwyer. "It's a very different experience."

The appointment would take about an hour. But the actual test, depending on gestational age, could take 15 to 20 minutes

The committee voted along party lines to introduce the bill and a hearing will be scheduled.

Planned Parenthood says it's waiting to read the full bill before making any comment.

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