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Utah House committee approves ultrasound abortion bill

March 4, 2020 GMT

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah bill that would require doctors to show a woman an ultrasound before performing an abortion passed a House committee vote.

The passage through the Judiciary Committee Tuesday moves the measure to the full House.

The bill proposed by Republican Rep. Steve Christiansen would require a physician or technician performing a mandated ultrasound to describe the presence and location of an unborn child in the uterus, display images and make the fetal heartbeat audible for each woman.

The bill stipulates nothing would prevent a woman from averting her eyes from the ultrasound images or asking a physician to lower the volume of the heartbeat.

A physician would not be allowed to perform an abortion unless a woman presents a completed form demonstrating she met the ultrasound requirement.

The proposal would make doctors who disregard the mandate liable for fines up to $100,000 for the first offense and $250,000 for each subsequent offense.

“In the end, it is (a woman’s) decision,” Christiansen said. “All we are asking is that she receive the information that is necessary so that she can make an informed decision.”