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Bill requiring ultrasound before abortion stirs up controversy

By Carrie Vick, cvick@wkbt.com
Published On: Jun 13 2013 05:37:35 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 14 2013 12:34:34 AM CDT
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

A bill requiring women to get an ultrasound before having an abortion in Wisconsin is now on its way to Governor Walker for his signature.

It passed the State Assembly Thursday evening after more contentious debate.

It sparked a shouting match earlier this week in the Wisconsin Senate.

It's stirring up controversy not only in Madison but in the La Crosse area as well.

Jennifer Fisk, a leader with the Life League of La Crosse, said the goal is to help women.

"So many women are testifying to the fact that had they known, had they had all the facts about when their babies heart was beating or when their fingers were formed and being aware that that is a life from the very beginning, they would have made a different decision," said Fisk.

But Beth Hartung, director of Options Clinic in La Crosse, said women are already taking the necessary steps to be informed.

"I trust women and I trust women to be knowledgeable about their bodies and knowledgeable about the decision they're making," said Hartung.

She said it's not a decision the government should make.

"Personally I believe a medical decision should be made between a woman and her physician in the exam room and that legislature really has no place in mandating the physicians should make their medical decision a certain way or another way," said Hartung.

But Fisk said when it comes to defending why the bill is important, the name speaks for itself.

"This bill is actually called Sonya's Law, and it's actually named for a women who was going in considering an abortion and once she saw her baby on the monitor she chose life for her child. It's very telling as to what this would mean for the women of Wisconsin," said Fisk.

Another element of this bill is that clinics performing abortions would have to have admitting rights at a nearby hospital.

Hartung said that means it would force the abortion clinic in Appleton to close.

Gov. Scott Walker has said he will sign the bill into law when it reaches his desk.

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