Nacogdoches pro-lifers & Planned Parenthood react to snag in sonogram law

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - At a Nacogdoches pro life clinic a woman views an image confirming she's about six weeks pregnant.

"Off here to the side of that, this little area, that's the thickening," points out physician Dr. Kyle McMorries. "That's the baby right there."

Starting tomorrow, the same procedure will be required by doctors in abortion clinics, even though the issue will be tangled up in court.

"It was disappointing to hear women would still have to undergo this invasive procedure," said Planned Parenthood spokesperson, Rochelle Tafolla.

It must be decided if a mandatory sonogram violates the free speech rights of doctors and patients. A New York-based reproductive rights group had sued to block the sonogram law from taking effect.

McMorries doesn't view it as a first amendment issue, but rather as an issue of standard of care.

"It's my personal belief that they would want to perform an ultrasound, at least for their own reasons to verify that they're doing something safe for the patient," said McMorries.

The image of the fetus or embryo, the sound of a heartbeat and description of its organs can provide valuable medical information, but not all physicians deem in necessary prior to an abortion.

The same information can certainly influence a woman's decision about abortion. It gave patient, Sarah Russell, a wake up call.

"I was always kinda in the denial stage until you actually see something growing inside you where you get that little attachment feel because now you actually know there's something inside of you."

Enter the emotional side of a medical tool.

"Why would they (doctors) be afraid in an abortion setting to show a woman an ultrasound? I don't understand that," questions Nacogdoches Heartbeat Crisis Pregnancy Center director, Deanna Still.

Others argue the measure was passed upon the urging of Governor Rick Perry and a conservative legislation. Perry signed the law in May, saying it would save countless lives. About 81,000 abortions are performed every year in Texas.

"So it is unfortunate that women are having to be the pawns in this political game," noted Tafolla.

The sonogram law presented lots of debate, for and against. It looks like it may start all over again. The appeal could take a year.

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