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Study: 'Sonogram Bill' Doesn't Change Minds About Abortion

Two sonogram tools used at a Planned Parenthood clinic providing abortions in Austin.
Erich Schlegel, Texas Tribune
Two sonogram tools used at a Planned Parenthood clinic providing abortions in Austin.

The Texas law that requires women wait twenty-four hours after receiving an ultrasound to get an abortion is not causing them to change their minds but is causing “excessive hardship.”

That’s according to a new survey by researchers at the University of Texas and a Massachusetts research group that favors women’s reproductive rights.

The study found that most women (89 percent) were “confident” or “extremely confident” in their decision to have an abortion—both before and after the ultrasound.

But a third of women said the waiting period negatively affected their emotional well-being.

Dr. Daniel Grossman helped conduct the study. He read a quote from one woman surveyed:

“She said: ‘I wanted to go in one day and get it over with but it was the law. I didn’t want two days to think about it. I thought about changing my mind a couple of times. I was with my partner—he kept throwing the picture of the ultrasound in my face. He wasn’t supportive at all. I think women should have the right to make their own health decisions."

State Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) says the restrictions need to be overturned.

“I think it’s just ridiculous that we do things to women to manipulate their minds instead of trusting that they already have made a very difficult decision," Farrar said.

Farrar says the best way to reduce the number of abortions is to restore state funding for things like contraceptives.

Meanwhile, a separate poll released today by UT and the Texas Tribune says most Texans favor a proposal to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they would support so-called "fetal pain" legislation, which has been advanced by Republican state lawmakers and supported by Governor Rick Perry.

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.
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