In response to Lauren Gusinow’s letter published March 2 related to the HB516 bill, I wish to correct assertions Lauren Gusinow made. As a registered diagnostic medical sonographer for over 30 years, I want to assure all Idahoans that the ultrasound techniques Gusinow rightly portrayed as potentially dangerous to unborn babies are never done in early pregnancy.
HB516 offers to a woman undecided about her pregnancy options the opportunity to receive an ultrasound free of charge from a medical facility in Idaho. The limited obstetrical ultrasounds are performed by trained and certified personnel for the purpose of giving an undecided woman the ability to see her pregnancy, including seeing her baby’s beating heart. Standard practice in early pregnancy includes documentation by the use of M-mode, which produces an image of the heart rate but no sound. Every trained OB certified ultrasound operator knows this and refrains from using the Doppler option described by Gusinow. To use it would be a violation of her/his certification.
HB516 changes nothing about a woman’s access to abortion. No woman is coerced into having an ultrasound. The bill, which passed both House and Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter, requires only that information be made available to her.
Nancy Teune, Boise
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