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May 20, 2010 9:15 AM by Melissa Hawkes

Law May Require Ultrasound Before Abortion

A bill making its way through the legislature would require a woman wanting an abortion to first see an ultrasound photo. The bill sponsored by Senator Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge passed in the senate with only four in opposition.

Women looking to get an abortion in Louisiana may be required to get an ultrasound before any procedure is performed.

Brenda Desormeaux, Director of the Desormeaux Foundation, "this law we can get the truth out to the young woman and ultrasound is just another technology in our medical world that is just helping to see inside the womb."

Lafayette resident, Ana Karelina, said "I think a lot of people our age don't get the ultrasound and immediately think no I'm not going to do this and go through with the abortion without even realizing what they are doing."

Current state law requires ultrasounds only if the doctor suspects the woman is at least 20 weeks pregnant. Under the proposed bill, physicians would be required to perform an ultrasound at least 2 hours before the abortion.

The bill wouldn't require women to get a detailed description of the fetus or even a printed photograph...it'd all be optional.

The physician must offer to display the ultrasound picture and be willing to give a detailed explanation and offer a photograph of the fetus.

Desormeaux said, "at eight, ten weeks it's a baby...you can see it and hear the heart beat."

She says the bill is going to save lives and people in the community agree.

Lafayette Resident, Wayne Veal, said it's "a step in a positive direction, I think it's a great thing.'

In response to the bill, Planned Parenthood posted this statement on its website "decisions about childbearing should be made by a woman in consultation with her family and doctor--not by politicians."

The bill is now being sent to the house for debate.

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