State Bills Requiring Abortion Providers to Offer Ultrasounds
The Arkansas Senate last month passed a bill (SB 729) requiring abortion providers to offer women an ultrasound image of the fetus prior to undergoing an abortion, reported Kaisernetwork. Sponsored by Sen. Bobby Glover (D-Carlisle), the bill would mandate that physicians maintain patients’ written signed acceptance/rejection files for a minimum of three years. Violators could face disciplinary action from the state medical board. Sen. Sue Madison (D-Fayetteville) criticized the measure calling it an “extra impediment put in the way of a woman seeking a legal abortion,” according to the Associated Press. The House is expected to consider the bill.
Meanwhile in Indiana, state legislators held a hearing last month on a similar bill (SB 173), also requiring abortion providers to offer ultrasounds to women seeking abortions. Sen. R. Michael Young, sponsor of the new bill as well as the highly contentious 1995 in-person abortion counseling law, insisted that whether women receive counseling by phone (currently the case until April 30) or in-clinic, the ultrasound option should be included in the consultation, which already offers a woman a view of a fetal picture, drawing or dimensions. Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Greater Indiana told the Indianapolis Star, “it’s one more suggestion to the woman… that she is behaving frivolously…It’s not a procedure any woman takes lightly, and for these lawmakers to suggest otherwise is offensive.”
According to the Center for Reproductive Rights, 23 states mandate waiting periods for abortions. Mississippi, Louisiana, Utah, and Wisconsin require in-person counseling within the 24-hour delay.
Media Resources: Kaisernetwork 3/27/03; Associated Press 3/26/03; Indianapolis Star 3/31/03
12/9/2013 Mixed Results for Afghanistan's Anti-Violence Against Women Law - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released their annual report on violence against women in Afghanistan yesterday, revealing mixed results of the country's Elimination of Violence against Women Law.
"A Way to Go: An Update on Implementation of the Law on the Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan [PDF]," found that there was a 28 percent increase in reports of violence against women from 2012 to 2013 , but only 17 percent of those were prosecuted under EVAW - a small 2 percent increase from last year.
The law, which was issued by the executive decree of President Hamid Karzai in 2009, criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .