Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has rejected a bill that would have allowed pregnant women to view an ultrasound image of the unborn baby.
The legislation, authored by Rep. Abigail Whelan (R-Ramsey) and Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake), had received bipartisan support in both chambers, gaining a favorable vote of 79–48 in the House last week and a 37–30 vote in the Senate earlier this month.
According to Life News, the measure would allow women to view the ultrasound image of the unborn baby if an ultrasound was performed prior to the abortion. The physician performing the abortion would be required to offer the patient an opportunity to view the image while undergoing the procedure.
Abortion facilities usually perform an ultrasound on the pregnant women prior to an abortion to determine the stage of development of the unborn baby, its location and the appropriate abortion method.
However, pregnant women are typically not offered the chance to view the ultrasound image, according to Life News.
Dayton vetoed the bill on Wednesday, saying it "interferes with the doctor-patient relationship."
"In addition, providers are already fulfilling their legal, ethical, and professional duties to fully inform their patients of the benefits, risks, and alternatives of any medical procedure," Dayton said in a statement, according to Patch.
Whelan had insisted last week that the measure is about "empowering women." She contended that many women later regret their abortion, and her measure was aimed at preventing such situations. "As a woman and as a legislator, I think more information is better," she remarked, as reported by Patch.
Andrea Rau, the legislative director for the Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL), denounced Dayton's decision to veto the bill, saying he has "yielded to the extremes of the abortion industry."
"With this veto of the ultrasound bill, the governor has demonstrated profound disregard for the rights of Minnesota's women," Rau said, according to Life News.
"This governor has been no friend to pro-life legislation. Minnesotans are weary of his repeated rejection of life-affirming initiatives. It is time for a state executive who will act to protect all of our citizens, including unborn children," she continued.
Sarah Stoesz, president of the Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund, hailed the rejection of the measure, claiming that women already have the option to view an ultrasound image before undergoing an abortion.
Dayton had rejected several pro-life bills in the past. According to Life News, he had vetoed bills such as the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and a measure that would have banned taxpayer funding for abortions.
Additionally, the governor had also rejected bills that would have banned "webcam abortions" as well as a legislation on abortion facility licensure.