Heartbeat director hopes sonogram law will stand

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - An appellate court has ruled Texas can implement a new abortion law, but the law may not be enforced any time soon.

The law requires physicians to conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion, but some doctors are pushing back.

A sonogram is shown to a woman.

Her baby is about six weeks old.

"That ultrasound does make a difference and when they hear that heartbeat, the expression on their face is amazing," said Deanna Still, Executive Director of Heartbeat Pregnancy Center.

Just last year, the Heartbeat Pregnancy Center in Nacogdoches saw one thousand women.

They say even those women considering abortion should be given all the information before they make a decision.

"If she's going to make a decision to abort, describing that baby on what they're seeing on the screen in some cases won't make a difference, but in other cases it will and wouldn't that be a good thing?," said Still.

The fifth circuit court of appeals has already ruled that Texas can implement the new abortion law requiring doctors to conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion, make the image viewable, play the fetal heartbeat and describe the fetus.

But, doctors have challenged that law.

At issue is how much the state can control what a doctor tells their patient.

"Who would push against that because they should be proud of their medical practice, their medical knowledge to be able to provide this information to this woman and say you know what, I gave her ever opportunity. I gave her all the facts. What decision she made, she made on her own, but I've got a clear conscious," said Still.

But, Planned Parenthood has said they're outraged by the law and the court ruling, saying "this law prevents them from providing victims of rape and incest, women who are facing the loss of a much-wanted pregnancy, with the most compassionate and medically appropriate care according to their needs."

The appeals court says the law can go into effect at the end of the month unless the doctors appeal.

The judge hearing the case has scheduled arguments for January 20th.

If he determines the law is unconstitutional, the law will remain on hold.

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