Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed a historic piece of pro-life legislation into law on Thursday that requires that women be offered the chance to see an ultrasound of her unborn child before having an abortion.
The law is the first pro-life measure to pass in Wyoming in 28 years, according to the Associated Press. Pro-life advocates joined Gov. Mead for the signing ceremony Thursday, and several young people wore “I am the pro-life generation” T-shirts, the AP reports.
The legislation requires abortion practitioners to inform women that they can see an ultrasound of their unborn child before having the abortion. They also must ask women if they want to hear their baby’s heartbeat, the Casper Star Tribune reports.
Mead also signed a second bill into law that bans the use of aborted babies’ body parts for research, according to the AP. Both laws take effect July 1.
Wyoming lawmakers have been trying for years to pass an ultrasound informed consent bill. Two similar ultrasound bills in 2009 and 2011 failed to pass the state legislature, LifeNews reported.
Ultrasounds provide valuable information to pregnant moms as they consider abortion. A survey by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates found that 78 percent of abortion-minded or abortion-vulnerable women chose life after seeing an ultrasound image of their unborn baby. Most women (83.5 percent) also said the ultrasound had a positive impact on their decision to choose life for their baby.
Hearing their unborn baby’s heartbeat also can impact a woman’s decision about her unborn child. Save the Storks recently shared the story of a woman who chose life for her baby after seeing her child’s heartbeat.
An unborn baby’s heart begins to beat at about 22 days after conception. In October, however, Oxford University researchers announced findings that an unborn child’s heartbeat may begin even earlier, at 16 days after conception.