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Legislation Requires Ultrasound Before Abortion

This story was written by Emily Holman, Daily O'Collegian
Legislation requiring abortion providers to perform an ultrasound examination before terminating a pregnancy passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives and moved to the senate March 12.

Rep. Lisa Billy, R-Purcell, authored the legislation, which passed 88-11.

The bill expands on anti-abortion legislation passed in 2006 that required abortion doctors to tell women seeking abortions that they had a right to a free ultrasound exam at an offsite location.

Billy said the bill would give women as much information as possible to ensure they don't later regret their decision, the Associated Press reported March 11.

Ashley Reynolds, College Republicans co-chairman, said the bill is an important piece of legislation for women.

"I think there should be an exception if it's being done for the health of a mother," she said. "I think it's hard for people to tell themselves they are not ending a human life when they see it and hear its heartbeat."

Oklahoma State University Young Democrats President Shane Williams said the legislature should spend time solving education and budget issues rather than passing "wedge" issues that divide voters.

"Hopefully, one day, Oklahomans will see their state representatives and senators for what their work has been in the legislature," Williams said. "I know that if all my representative or senator passed in the legislature were wedge issues, I would vote for a new official."

Some students also agree with Billy's legislation. Amy Coble, an elementary education sophomore at Oklahoma State, said the legislation is helpful.

"I think it makes the baby seem more real to the girl and helps her realize what she's going to do," Coble said.

Becki Watterson, a human development and family sciences junior, said she thinks the legislation helps women plan their decisions.

"When a lot of women get an abortion they are under a lot of pressure and are being pushed to do it," Watterson said. "It allows them to have a more thought-out decision."

Sydney Shoghi, a counseling psychology freshman, said the bill could cause emotional distress for the woman.

"If you don't see the baby, you don't make the emotional connection," Shoghi said. "Women do what they have to do."
© 2008 Daily O'Collegian via U-WIRE