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Law to Require Woman to Look at Baby Right Before Abortion


Starting November 1, doctors in Oklahoma will have to perform ultrasounds and describe what they see to women about to get abortions, within an hour before the procedures. Oklahoma's ultrasound law, which also exists in some form in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, does not make an exception for victims of rape or incest. One abortion clinic has now filed a lawsuit asking Oklahoma state court to throw the law out.

Multiple concerns add to the complexity of this law. First, many argue that making a woman meet her would-be baby before she terminates the pregnancy is cruel and a violation of her privacy. Also, the high expense of ultrasound machines means clinics unable to afford them will not be able to provide low-income women access to abortions. Finally, some see the law as the legislature replacing doctors because it prohibits a doctor from deciding what is best for the patient.

Do you think it's necessary to legislate extra considerations for a woman about to have an abortion, or should the performance of an ultrasound be left up to the doctor and the woman? Should the state try to get women to change their minds?

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