Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Heartbeat Informed Consent Act

In summary the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act states that a woman and/or father of the child to be aborted will have to listen to the heartbeat of the child before the abortion is preformed. The parent(s) will not have to hear the heartbeat if the abortion is for a medical emergency.

The Oklahoma Legislature finds that:
1.  The presence of a heartbeat in a woman's unborn child may be a material consideration to many women contemplating abortion;
2.  The presence of a heartbeat in a woman's unborn child is a developmental fact that illustrates to the woman that her baby is alive;
3.  On about the twenty-first or twenty-second day after fertilization, the heart of an unborn child begins to beat;
4.  The heartbeat of an unborn child can be visually detected at an early stage of pregnancy using an ultrasound machine at four (4) to four and one-half (4.5) weeks after fertilization on transvaginal ultrasound and about five and one-half (5.5) to six (6) weeks after fertilization on transabdominal ultrasound;
5.  The heartbeat of an unborn child can be made audible at later stages, including by use of a handheld Doppler fetal heart rate monitor;
6.  Less than five percent (5%) of all natural pregnancies end in spontaneous miscarriage after detection of cardiac activity.  A fetal heartbeat is therefore a key medical indicator that an unborn child is likely to achieve the capacity for live birth;
7.  The observation of a heartbeat in a woman's unborn child when a heartbeat has been detected is an important component of full informed consent;
8.  Ensuring full informed consent for an abortion is imperative because of the profound physical and psychological risks of an abortion.  As the Supreme Court has observed, "The medical, emotional, and psychological consequences of an abortion are serious and can be lasting" (H.L. v. Matheson, 450 U.S. 398, 411).  The woman's decision whether to abort "is an important, and often a stressful one, and it is desirable and imperative that it be made with full knowledge of its nature and consequences" (Planned Parenthood v. Danforth, 428 U.S. 52, 67).  "Whether to have an abortion requires a difficult and painful moral decision" in which "some women come to regret their choice to abort the infant life they once created and sustained" and "[s]evere depression and loss of esteem can follow... The State has an interest in ensuring so grave a choice is well informed.  It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know" (Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124, 159-160);
9.  Requiring providers to give a woman an opportunity to observe her unborn child's heartbeat is constitutionally permissible and the ultrasound image of an unborn child is truthful, nonmisleading information.  "In attempting to ensure that a woman apprehend the full consequences of her decision, the State furthers the legitimate purpose of reducing the risk that a woman may elect an abortion, only to discover later, with devastating psychological consequences, that her decision was not fully informed.  If the information the State requires to be made available to the woman is truthful and not misleading, the requirement may be permissible" (Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 882); and
10.  Recent research taking into account twenty-two (22) studies with control groups and more than eight hundred seventy-seven thousand (877,000) women over a fourteen-year period finds that women who have had an abortion have an eighty-one-percent increased risk for mental health problems and that ten percent (10%) of the mental health problems of women who have had an abortion are directly attributed to abortion.
The provisions of this act shall not apply to an abortion provider in the case that the abortion is necessary to avert the mother's death or in the case of a medical emergency.
 Any abortion provider who knowingly performs or induces any abortion shall comply with the requirements of the Heartbeat Informed Consent Act. Prior to a woman giving informed consent to having any part of an abortion performed or induced, if the pregnancy is at least eight (8) weeks after fertilization, the abortion provider who is to perform or induce the abortion or an agent of the abortion provider shall, using a Doppler fetal heart rate monitor, make the embryonic or fetal heartbeat of the unborn child audible for the pregnant woman to hear.  An abortion provider or an agent of the abortion provider shall not be in violation of the requirements of this subsection if:
1.  The provider or agent has attempted, consistent with standard medical practice, to make the embryonic or fetal heartbeat of the unborn child audible for the pregnant woman to hear using a Doppler fetal heart rate monitor;
2.  That attempt does not result in the heartbeat being made audible; and
3.  The provider has offered to attempt to make the heartbeat audible at a subsequent date.

1 comment:

  1. You only need to use standard blood
    pressure cuffs and a Nicolet Hand Held Doppler, ankle brachial index doppler to listen and look at the blood flow