by Steven Ertelt
April 25, 2007
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — A Texas state Senate panel has signed off on a bill that would require abortion practitioners to do ultrasounds on women considering abortions and to give them an opportunity to see it beforehand. Republican Sen. Dan Patrick, a Republican who is sponsoring the bill, hopes it will help persuade women to keep their babies.
Under Patrick’s bill, women would not be required to see the ultrasound but they must be allowed the chance to do so and can sign a form stating they were given the opportunity.
"I’m interested in protecting the lives of the unborn and giving a woman an option before she makes that fatal choice for that fetus, for that baby, to look at that ultrasound," he told AP.
"That might persuade her to save that life," he said.
Patrick’s bill amends the state’s informed consent law that allows women to receive information about abortion’s risks and alternatives before having one. The legislature approved that Right to Know provision in 2003.
Representatives of the Texas affiliate of NARAL complained about the bill during the hearing and it was chanced from requiring women to see the ultrasound to requiring the abortion practitioner to give them the opportunity to view it.
According to AP, Patrick said his goal was to allow women to see one rather than put a state mandate in place.
Democratic Sen. Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso ended up voting against the bill and he called it something that will "make a tragic time in a woman’s life harder."
Heather Paffe, political director of the Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, also opposed the measure during the hearing.
Juli Morrison of Seguin also testified for the bill and said that she had an abortion 13 years ago and the abortion practitioner took a sonogram of her unborn baby but would not show it to her.
"I’m not here to argue the sanctity of life or anything," she said, according to AP. "I know from personal experience, from counseling women who are post-abortive, as much information as you can give them is the best."
There are more than 74,000 abortions in Texas annually and legislators are hoping Patrick’s bill and others the legislature is considering will help reduce that figure.