Testimony on HB516

You can read the Bill here.

Chairman Loertscher and members of the Committee,

My name is Marci Glass and I am the pastor of Southminster Presbyterian Church, here to speak against House Bill 516.

In his introduction, Rep. Nate spoke about getting a retinal scan at the eye doctor, or an X-ray for a broken arm, and compared ulstrasounds to those procedures so patients can make informed consent. If this were about informed consent and good medical decisions for all Idahoans, it would be mandating that all medical providers provide all X-rays, MRIs, scans, and ultrasounds to ALL Idahoans for all of their medical decisions, not just for ultrasounds for women seeking legal medical abortions.

This is an unfunded mandate. The fact that some clinics will provide free ultrasounds is not the point. This bill is pushing someone’s religious views into a cost to medical providers for something that is not medically indicated. As a pastor, I am concerned about legislation that blurs the separation of religious freedom and governmental intrusion.

As a woman who faced an unplanned pregnancy back when I was in college, let me guarantee you that I did not need an ultrasound to know I was facing a difficult decision. I did not need to be sent to a ‘crisis pregnancy center’ to tell me what to think. I spoke with the father of the child, with my parents, with my doctor, with my pastor, and with my close friends, to make the right decision for me.

I received compassionate and affordable care at a Planned Parenthood clinic. I chose, and let me emphasize how grateful I was to live in a country that protected my choice, I chose to place my son for adoption.

Women are competent and capable to make our own best decisions for our health care choices. Please vote against this unneeded piece of legislation.

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