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Ortiz Supports Ban of Prenatal Photo Studios

Assemblyman Felix W. Ortiz (51st -A.D.) is the sponsor of a first of its kind piece of legislation, which would prohibit the use of an ultrasound for non-medical purposes in the state of New York. Shops with names like "Womb With A View", "Prenatal Peek" and "FetalFotos" can be found popping up in strip malls and shopping centers throughout the country. These shops offer expectant parents photos and videos of their baby with the use of ultrasound machines with prices varying from $80 to $300. Studios purchase the 3-D ultrasound machines from companies such as General Electric and Siemens for anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000 and many times employ untrained and uncertified individuals to operate them. At this time the equipment is regulated by the Food and Drug administration, but the technicians who operate them are not required to be licensed or certified.

"Regulations must be set forth to prevent expectant parents from endangering their unborn child's health. Many parents do not understand the inherent dangers associated with this procedure," stated Ortiz.

The Food and Drug Administration, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and the American College of Radiology have all issued statements discouraging expectant parents from seeking the elective procedure and to only have an ultrasound for medical purposes. The FDA statement noted that the creation of keepsake videos and photos "involve higher ultrasound intensities" than standard machines used for medical readings and "require longer exposure times", which could affect the fetus.

"These businesses are putting at risk the health of expectant mothers as well as their unborn children and parents are receiving a false sense of security about their baby's health from an untrained technician," continued Ortiz.