Reproductive rights are under attack, with politicians deeming themselves experts at determining how women's health care should be delivered. In Minnesota, the latest example of this is a bill that dictates the conversation between a woman and her doctor during one of the most deeply personal decisions she may make in her life: the decision whether to carry a pregnancy to term.
Minnesota HF 3194 requires a physician to offer a patient the option to view an ultrasound prior to an abortion. The authors of this bill appear to be assuming that women are being denied information available to them in their decisions, which is simply not true.
This bill sets a dangerous precedent, allowing politicians to set standards of medical care via legislating a specific conversation. This unnecessary bill will not improve health care; rather, it represents direct interference in the doctor/patient relationship. Patients already have the right to receive all necessary information; physicians are already fulfilling their legal, ethical and professional duty to care for and fully inform their patients, including by enabling patients to view ultrasounds when they so choose.
As a female Minnesota resident of childbearing age (i.e., a member of the demographic whose medical decisions are to be legislated), I am disturbed by this thinly veiled attempt to shame women who have decided to terminate a pregnancy. Beyond my personal opinion on the issue, a number of reputable, relevant organizations stand in opposition to this attempted meddling in women's medical decisions.
Along with the Minnesota Section of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Minnesota Medical Association, please oppose HF 3194 and leave women's health care decisions where they belong: between women and their doctors, not in the hands of politicians.
Brennan lives in Moorhead.