Proposed legislation would require ultrasound before abortion
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -
Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) has filed a bill that would require women to have a "transabdominal ultrasound" and wait 24 hours before having an abortion.
"I believe life begins at conception. I just believe a woman should be informed before she makes a very important decision in her life and this gives her an opportunity to be informed before what she's going to do," said Sen. Tracy.
According to the bill, an ultrasound technician would be required to show images of the fetus to the woman.
If the woman declines to view the ultrasound, the technician would be required to make the heartbeat audible and describe the images seen in the ultrasound.
"No one is telling her what to do, it just gives her informed consent," Sen. Tracy told Nashville's News 2.
Sheila Harper, a pro-life advocate with the group "Save One" had an abortion in 1985.
She said she supports Sen. Tracy's measure.
"I would give anything, had I seen some kind of ultrasound and saw the development and saw it's not just a blob of tissue, it's not just this mass that's inside me, it really is a living human being in there," Harper said.
Harper believes if such legislation had been in place, she might not have terminated her pregnancy.
"To be able to be able to go back and see an ultrasound picture of my daughter that I aborted, I don't think I could have gone through with the decision had I seen that and I had no idea 20 or some odd years later that I would still live with the regret of that one decision on that day," Harper told Nashville's News 2.
However, Planned Parenthood of Middle and east Tennessee is concerned about the proposed legislation.
"These are decisions, private medical decisions that women should be able to make without any interference or intrusion from the government," Planned Parenthood President and CEO Jeff Teague told Nashville's News 2.
Teague said ultrasounds at such an early stage in the pregnancy do not show much, and provide no real medical purpose.
"That early in pregnancy it's [an ultrasound is] not going to give images that are going to be useful or helpful."
Teague continued, "But again the concern about telling women information in cases when they don't want to hear it, forcing women against their will to have the information is designed to shame them, to coerce them and with the intent for them to change their minds about decisions they've already made, is never a good idea."
Currently two states, Texas and Louisiana, have a similar mandate in place.
A court order threw out the law in Oklahoma and it's currently in court in North Carolina.