Erik Barajas (KTRK): Once the 82nd Legislature adjourned late this summer, several new laws are set to take affect.
Probably the most controversial — a new sonogram abortion bill that Governor Perry deemed 'priority legislation'. It stipulates that a woman seeking an abortion view a sonogram and hear the heartbeat of the fetus 24 hours before undergoing an abortion. That means she'd have to make two trips to a clinic. The spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast said it amounts to another barrier to women considering an abortion.
Rochelle Tofalla (Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast): This is an unncessary trip. It's unnecessary for them to have an ultrasound in some cases and certainly for politicians to tell a physician that this is something that you're required to do and this is something you must tell that woman regardless of what their professional judgement is in their care for that patient.
Erik Barajas: However, the director for Texas Right to Life says an abortion is a medical procedure and a sonogram is a way to protect the woman's right to all the medical information she needs before making that decision.
Elizabeth Graham (Texas Right to Life): Women who do see the sonogram, the child moving around in the womb, swimming, waving, sucking his or her thumb, and listening to the heartbeat, do choose life for their unborn child.
Erik Barajas: Abortion providers must comply by October 1st, 30 days after the bill becomes law. However the Center for Reproductive Rights, along with Planned Parenthood, has filed a lawsuit in Federal Court, declaring the law unconstitutional. The decision is expected by Thursday.