Proposed Bill Would Require Sonogram Before Abortion

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - A proposed bill that would require women to get a sonogram and listen to their baby's heartbeat before they get an abortion is stirring up controversy.

That bill is the latest to be added to Governor Perry's list of emergency items in the legislature.

A similar bill was also proposed last year, but it died before it could ever become law.

NewsWest 9 spoke with a Midland pro-life group and Planned Parenthood to see what they had to say about the bill.

"I always think it's interesting when our governor stands up and singles out an ultrasound bill as the issue in Texas," Carla Holeva, with Planned Parenthood, said. "When I think we have many more issues that we need to get serious about."

"We want the public to be educated and we feel that if America sees an abortion they will stop this genocide because they are killing our citizens," Gina Aaron said. "They are killing our human race."

Aaron of the Midland/Odessa Deanery for Life stands behind House Bill 325, 100 percent.

The new bill would require any woman getting an abortion to have a sonogram and listen to the baby's heartbeat no less than one hour before the procedure.

Although the woman can look away, the doctor performing the abortion would have to describe in detail, how far along the fetus has developed, including if it has arms, legs and any internal organs.

"We want everyone fully informed on the life changing experience of taking the life of a baby," Aaron said.

The bill is only in the early stages of legislation, but it's already causing controversy among pro-choice organizations.

"Our elected officials are deciding what are the best methods to treat women for healthcare, and that's not really their job," Holeva said.

Holeva with Planned Parenthood said clients who come into their clinics already receive sonograms but women should choose whether or not to hear that information.

"That's really that woman's decision, not our elected officials," Holeva said. "That decision is one that should be kept between the client and her doctor."

"It may seem harsh but wouldn't a person want to know what they're getting ready to evacuate from their womb?" Aaron said. "It is a baby, it's always a baby, it's never been anything but a baby."

Aaron feels if women know this information beforehand, there's a chance for a change of heart.

Holeva said that may happen but the choice is ultimately up to the woman.

"The women that come in here for our service have thought long and hard about what they're doing and have weighed the pros and cons," she said. "They've made their decision and at Planned Parenthood we respect that decision."

The bill has only been filed, but by Governor Perry designating it an emergency item, that means it could be passed within 60 days.