Part Two: For The Bill
Texas' Sonogram Bill, Two Women, Two Very Different Opinions
by: Edel Howlin, March 14, 2012 10:03:00 pm
Becky Turner is a 47 year-old consultant. The first time she had sex, she got pregnant. She was 22. It was a party. She just met someone, but this was not a good time for her to have a baby.
"I mean immediately you know what do I do? I think I said, 'What do I do?' or 'How do I take?' ... I don’t think I was even consciously, how do I take care of it? I think I said, 'Well what do I do?'"
So Turner’s doctor at the time opened his top drawer and slid a card across his desk. It was for an abortion clinic. While making the appointment was all very straightforward, the reality of her decision was very different.
"I remember at one point, we were in a waiting room area and everybody’s friends and all that stuff had gone into the back into the waiting room and we were all waiting there and it was just silent. Nothing."
And living with that decision hasn’t been easy either.
"When you’re 22, I knew everything and based on the knowledge I was given that was the decision I made. Regrets, yeah my life would be different, who knows? Who knows what kind of potential would have been in my great grand-children as a result of that choice I made."
Turner had her abortion in 1987 — long before the Texas Legislature ever considered the sonogram bill. But the bill has her wondering if she would have made a different choice.
"Would it have made me change my mind? Em I think it might have, not certain. I guess maybe this is where I come from truth is never a bad thing it might be a hard and difficult thing but I don’t ever think it’s a bad thing, but withholding truth from people can be emotionally impactful, or it can be deadly."
Planned Parenthood’s Director of Ambulatory Services Tram Nguyen says not so. She’s seen firsthand the emotional impact of the sonogram bill on female patients. She recalls one patient in particular.
"She was at peace with her decision, you could clearly see that and after seeing the ultrasound and hearing the heartbeat, she was sobbing. Sobbing hysterically and there was no way for us to comfort her. She did not change her mind at all whatsoever, but it did break her heart."
While both of the women in this series have had abortions, they differ greatly in their stances on the sonogram bill. Yet, they are united on one issue: They both say there needs to be more discussion more debate and they hope this will happen at the next legislative session.