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Abortion ultrasound bill clears first hurdle

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 7, 2013 at 11:31 am •  Published: February 7, 2013

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Persistent Senate Republicans pushed a bill over its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday in an effort to require doctors to allow women seeking abortions to look at ultrasound images.

The Senate Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection passed the perennial measure Thursday morning on a 7-2 vote. The panel also gave thumbs up by the same margin to a second measure that would require that women get face-to-face consultations with medical professionals before undergoing abortions.

The proposals have repeatedly cleared the GOP-led Senate in recent years only to die in the Democratic-controlled House. And the prognosis is no better this year, though sponsors said they struggle to understand why.

"We're only asking that women be fully informed before undergoing this procedure," said Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville.

The ultrasound measure has been softened over the years from an original version that would have essentially required women to look at the images. Now, they don't have to look, but doctors do have to make them available.

The bill also calls for doctors who don't comply to be fined $100,000 for first offenses and $250,000 for subsequent offenses.

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