Tennessee Women’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act (HB 1459)
This law was last updated on Jun 29, 2016
HB 1459 would require an ultrasound to be performed prior to an abortion, except in the case of a medical emergency.
Under this bill, at the beginning of the waiting period (48 hours), a physician or their assistant must perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services. The physician would be required to orally and in person offer the woman the opportunity to:
- View the active ultrasound image of the unborn child and hear the heartbeat of the unborn child, if the heartbeat is audible; and
- Receive a physical picture of the ultrasound image of the unborn child.
Prior to performing the abortion, a physician or their assistant must obtain the woman’s signature on a certificate form, stating the physician or qualified person assisting the physician has complied. The physician should keep a copy of the written certificate to be retained in the woman’s medical record.
This bill requires that the active ultrasound and auscultation of fetal heart tone be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the community. If a transabdominal ultrasound is not feasible for obtaining a quality image, a transvaginal ultrasound would not be required.
A violation of this provision would:
- Provide a basis for a civil healthcare liability action;
- Provide a basis for a professional disciplinary action in accordance with the board of medical examiners or the board of osteopathic examination; and
- Provide a basis for recovery for the wrongful death of the unborn child, whether or not the unborn child was born alive or was viable at the time the abortion was performed.
Companion bill to SB 1769.