Health Policy Analysis on Bill 5551
Saint Louis University
I analyzed a bill called, “Heartbeat Informed Consent Act.” The legislation is to ensure that women who are seeking/contemplating an abortion receive an ultrasound and an opportunity to review the ultrasound before giving their informed consent to receive an abortion. Michele Bachmann introduced this bill. She introduced the bill because she felt that if a woman is able to see the presence of a heartbeat she might contemplate the abortion that she is going in to receive. The unborn child’s heartbeat is a developmental fact that illustrates to the woman that her baby is actually living.
This bill was introduced in the House of Representatives. The Committee of Energy and Commerce was involved and it has not made it out of committee yet. Therefore, the bill has not been enacted. Those who helped draft the legislation include: Mr. Huelskamp, Mr. Harris, Mr. Pearce, Mr. Brady of Texas, Mr. Pitts, Mr. Long, Mr. Gibbs, Mr. Huizenga of Michigan, Mr. Latta, and Mr. Johnson of Ohio helped draft the legislation with Mrs. Bachmann. This bill was not appropriated. It is an amendment to the Public Health Services Act that does not need to authorize expenditure of additional public funds.
Although this bill would be involving the medical field, nursing was not involved in any degree of this bill. If the bill were to become a law, the bill mentioned different “qualified agents’ that would be involved before the woman would be giving her informed consent. One of the qualified agents included a nurse midwife, or an advanced practice nurse practitioner in obstetrics, with a certification in obstetrical ultrasonography.
This bill could have a rather large impact on healthcare. If this bill were to be enacted, I believe that the abortion rate would decrease significantly. This being said, birth rates would increase – causing a need for more labor and delivery nurses...
References: Civic Impulse. (2014). H.R. 5551 — 113th Congress: Heartbeat Informed Consent Act. Retrieved from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr5551
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