The State Senate has passed this year’s version of legislation dealing with abortion. HB 46 was legislation that started out as an abortion coercion bill and evolved into a bill in which the coercion component was taken out.
The bill does put some tighter rules on those providing abortions. For instance, a woman wanting an abortion will have to make two visits to an abortion provider – the first to consult with a physician or health practitioner and the second for the procedure, itself. Under current law the consultation can be done over the telephone.
In addition, a woman would be given the option of seeing an ultrasound prior to the abortion being performed. Videos, reading material, and other information on termination of pregnancy and possible problems associated with it would also be made available.
Senate debate was civil and without much controversy as the main component in this bill – making it a crime to coerce a woman to have an abortion – had been taken out during negotiations. The bill now returns to the House, which will have the option of passing it or requesting a conference to iron out differences in toe two chambers’ versions.