State lawmakers to fast-track sonogram bill

Candy Gibbs, executive director of Care Net Pregnancy Center
Candy Gibbs, executive director of Care Net Pregnancy Center

Elise Preston
NewsChannel 10

AMARILLO, TX - Governor Rick Perry declares a proposed sonogram bill, an emergency issue for Texas.

If passed, Senate Bill 16 would require mandatory sonograms be given for women considering abortion. Those sonograms would have to take place nearly 24 hours before the procedure.

Monday, Governor Rick Perry officially made the bill an emergency issue, meaning our state lawmakers will make a decision within the next 30 days.

This past weekend at a pro life rally, Perry said of the bill "the emergency designation allows the legislature to take fast action on this important bill because we all know when it comes to saving lives, every second counts."

Local supporters of the bill say statistics show, 85 percent of women considering abortion, change their mind once they see an ultrasound of the unborn child.

"If we can help them realize this is a baby and give them options, they'll want to give life to their babies. That's what I think is so powerful about this legislation." said Candy Gibbs, executive director of Care Net Pregnancy Center.

Local opponents of the bill say, the legislature should focus more on birth control and believe the proposed legislation is unconstitutional because it violates the privacy of both the woman and the doctor in the situation.

"The Texas legislature is not known for wisdom, only it knee jerk reactions to things. This bill is not to help the lives of the mother. It will only force women to see things they don't want to see and force doctors to do something they don't want to do." said Claudia Stravato, former director of the Texas Panhandle Family Planning & Health Center.

According to Stravato, the bigger problem this legislative session is tackling the state's budget.