New bill proposes mandatory ultrasounds before abortions

By Courtney Lane - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Their first day just wrapped up, but the state legislature is already looking at two proposed bills on abortion. The first proposed bill aims at making a specialty "choose life" license plate available to Texas drivers. The other bill, if passed, would make ultrasounds mandatory before a woman could have an abortion.

Sonographer Julie Kerns says many East Texas women change their minds about abortion after seeing their baby.

"Sometimes I'll get called in for patients that are very abortion-minded and I'll gladly come in if I can save a life. And we do an ultrasound on the baby and once the girls see that heartbeat and see that baby it changes everything," said Kerns who works with Pregnancy Resource Center.

Kerns volunteers at Tyler's Pregnancy Resource Center. She hopes the law passes because she believes ultrasounds save lives.

However, pro-choice advocates say the bill would infringe on a woman's right.

"We think that this is a ploy by the right-wing to continue to add burdensome requirements for a woman to get an abortion," said Kathryn Allen with Planned Parenthood.

Four states already enforce mandatory ultrasounds. Now, Texas may follow.

As for the license plates? Pro-choice advocates, like planned parenthood, worry it would set a new precedent.

"From here on out you'll have every constituency group and special interest clamoring for their own license plate that they want the income to go toward their organization," said Allen.

Texas lawmakers have some important decisions to make on a highly contested issue. No matter what you believe, Kerns wants every woman to really think and know their options and alternatives before having an abortion.

"Even though at the time it seems like a really good idea, it will haunt them all their lives and they will never forgive themselves, i know personally," said Kerns.

Right now, no vote is set for either bill.

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