Pro-life groups look to tighten sonogram law

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by BRAD WATSON

WFAA

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 6:39 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 24 at 6:53 PM

DALLAS - One of the toughest abortion laws in the country could get tougher.

Texas is one of just seven states that require women to see and hear a sonogram 24 hours before an abortion.

With Governor Perry shifting his restrictive views on abortion even more there is talk of trying to tightening the law even further.

Republicans are controlling the statehouse and the right to life movement's bill requiring a sonogram before an abortion marched right into law.

Women seeking to abort a pregnancy from rape and incest are exempt.

But with Perry saying he no longer thinks abortions should be allowed for even rape or incest News 8 asked him if the sonogram law exemption for those cases should end.

"Well there could be some practical applications from the standpoint if those were to go forward with those exemptions and if you got a bill like that and I think it would be wise for us to have that conversation as a society," he said.

Lawmakers who want to end that exemption would get support from one of the prominent pro life groups in the nation, 40 Days for Life, that demonstrated outside McKinney's Planned Parenthood clinic this week.

“But we should not punish the second victim,” said David Bereit, national director or 40 Days for Life. "That mother has been victimized by a sexual predator, that mother has been victimized by a rapist but punishing that innocent child destroying its life, his or her life does not ever solve the problem."

During House debate last year the law's opponents stressed a sonogram that early in pregnancy often requires a probe.
 
"This is government intrusion at its best," said Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston.

Planned Parenthood officials said a rape survivor knows whether she needs such a sonogram not government.

"What we now have in Texas is the state legislature telling doctors how to perform medicine," said Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood Federation of America President.
 
There are some questions if there would be enough votes in the senate to end the exemption. This is another reason November's election is critical to both sides.

E-mail bwatson@wfaa.com

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