Bill proposed in TN for ultrasound before abortion

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A proposed bill could require an ultrasound before an abortion is performed in Tennessee unless there is a medical emergency.

This is the first bill proposed since Tennessee voters approved changing the state constitution to allow some restrictions on abortions and abortion clinics.

House Bill 2 was introduced by Rep. Rick Womick of Rockvale and requires the ultrasound be performed between 24 and 72 hours before an abortion is to be performed.

Womick told WREG many abortion providers already do ultrasounds.

He said this bill equips women with more details before they make their decision.

"Women today are being told it's just a blob of tissue when, really, it's more than that," Womick said.

The patient must be offered the opportunity to view the ultrasound and receive a copy of the image.

If the woman declines to see the ultrasound, the doctor must verbally explain the "dimensions of the embryo or fetus, the presence of cardiac activity, and the presence of arms, legs, external members and internal organs, and provide a copy of the ultrasound image to the woman."

If a heartbeat is present, it must be made audible and the provider must also "provide...a simultaneous verbal explanation."

The abortion clinic must then keep a file containing the ultrasound of the woman for seven years from the date of the abortion.

If passed, the bill would take effect July 1, 2015.

WREG spoke with supporters and opponents of the bill.

"Certainly, mothers who are considering abortion should be fully informed of just what it does," Yes on 1 supporter Kent Pruett said.

No on 1 supporter Megan Kendall called the bill a violation.

"The only reason they're doing it is to shame and goad women who are already facing unplanned and unwanted pregnancies," Kendall said.


  • Oh No

    Are the taxpayers of TN going to cover the cost of these ultrasounds that aren’t necessary? They’re about $500 a piece.

      • Oh No

        I’m sure these “Christians” are the first ones to complain about families that receive government assistance too.

      • MikeBarret

        Hear, hear. Remember, as conservatives will tell you, if a woman is assaulted, her body has a way to shut that whole pregnancy thing down!

        That story about the guy who has 25+ kids and won’t pay child support? Where is Bellevue Baptist to step in and provide for these children as passionately as their pastor rallied for Amendment 1? Nowhere, that’s where. Conservatives will protect and defend the “unborn baby” right up until it takes a breath, then it’s the mother’s problem, and don’t you dare ask for their money to help the baby or its mother.

  • shea

    This is disgusting. Women should not have to be put through this absurd requirement for an abortion. And if they don’t want to see the ultrasound, the doctor is instructed to verbally describe the fetus. Are you kidding me?? Rep. Womack needs to be thrown out of office for coming up with this trash he calls a bill.

  • Wanda

    I knew that when Amendment 1 passed that some religious zealot would start coming up with this kind of stuff but even I am amazed at how quickly this has come up. Do these people not think that women have agonized over their decision? Do these men think that women are still some little helpless creature who can’t think for themselves so they need the big smart male doctor to describe everything in detail for them? This is my body & only me & my doctor should be allowed to make these kind of decisions.

  • Rude Druid


    The 24-to-72 hour wait is an unjustifiable hardship on someone who has traveled a great distance and is in great emotional distress over the prospect of undergoing an abortion. The extra $500 for the ultra-sound is also an unjustified burden on the woman.

    Abortion should be the WOMAN’s business — whether right or wrong — and not the state’s business, but these Christianist theocrats are sticking their long pointy noses into a very private matter.

    This law is not NEARLY as ugly as what will come after it.

    What we will witness is the equivalent of Sharia Law imposed on us by the Christianist theocrats.

    I don’t think these people are good Christians, either.

  • ?

    Granted I’m not a huge supporter of Am. 1 , but with this is not all that bad of an idea when it comes to determining age of the fetus. Once past a certain extent it is murder to kill an unborn child through abortion. Go look up Kermit Gosnell (He is just one of few) and then you can tell me how you feel about abortion regulations being bad. I agree women should have option but don’t be ignorant.

    • Pride in Memphis

      And what decision that a woman makes about her body has to do with you or any one else for that matter. If that is a woman decision let her have it. This would definite cut down on all the predjuice talk about how people tax dollars are being spent.

  • Cary Miller

    And this from the party that wants to keep Big Government out of Americans’ lives??? How ironic. It is none of Mr. Womick’s business what any woman in the state of Tennessee does with her body. Our legislature is an embarassment.

    • Pam

      They only against Big Government when it doesn’t agree with Big Jeezus. They wrap themselves in Thou Shall Not Kill except when it comes to Muslim people, then they’re all about killing….

  • think of it like this

    Everyone saying this is against a woman’s rights, well think of it like this. Abortion is a medical procedure and the woman getting the abortion, a patient. The patient should be fully informed of exactly what it is she is going to do. You cannot have a medical procedure like this and not know exactly what is being done. You make a choice, you have to live with the knowledge of what it actually is and it is removing a viable(usually) fetus from their body. No one’s rights are impeded with this legislation, if anything, they are just more informed of the procedure they elected to undergo. Religious aspects aside, no one is free from the consequences of their own actions. Not you, not ,me.

  • Cityisajoke

    Should’ve voted no. Now we just sit back and watch the numbers grow…..women going to jail, unwanted babies found, etc

  • Angie

    This bill is simply a thinly-veiled attempt to shame women into not getting an abortion; exactly one of the many obstacles that Yes On 1 will have accomplished. Conservatives continue to confound me: they preach about minimal government interference, except when it forces their version of the Bible down everyone’s throats.
    My views: if you don’t like abortions, don’t get one. Don’t like guns? Don’t own one! Don’t like smoking? Don’t smoke! Etc., etc. Stop trying to legislate morality.

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