LD 1614 would create a number of medically unnecessary hurdles to accessing care and violate providers’ First Amendment rights.
Among several provisions, the bill would require healthcare providers to share alternatives to abortion even when the patient does not request it, perform a medically unnecessary ultrasound, explain in detail “what the ultrasound images are depicting,” show patients the ultrasound, and make patients wait 48 hours from the time the ultrasound is performed before performing the abortion.
This violates medical providers’ First Amendment rights by compelling them to display the ultrasound and describe in detail features of the fetus, regardless of whether the physician or patient wishes for this to happen. This sort of mandate is opposed by major medical associations, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Public Health Association, because it violates basic ethical and informed consent principles.
The requirement of a 48-hour waiting period between the time of the ultrasound and the abortion procedure requires patients to make two trips to the doctor’s office. Government-mandated delays serve no purpose other than to make obtaining an abortion more difficult, dangerous, and expensive for the patients who are least able to bear the burden of an unwanted pregnancy.