Judge declares pro-life Texas sonogram measure unconstitutional

ultrasound, Vermont

ultrasound3Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a sonogram bill into law in May of this year, which would allow women to see an image of their unborn child, listen to the heartbeat, and hear a description of his or her body prior to an abortion as of September.

It was absolutely a pro-life victory, but it seems strange that pro-abortion groups who rally for “informed and educated choice” fought so adamantly to prevent the legislation from passing.  During any other invasive medical procedure, it is required that doctors explain the facts and risks associated with the surgery to the patients prior to performing it.  Why are the standards different when it comes to abortion?  Considering it is one of the most common surgeries performed in our country, shouldn’t the laws applied to any other surgery especially apply to this one?  Sounds to me like pro-abortion groups are afraid of something.

US District Judge Sam Sparks has declared parts of the sonogram law “unconstitutional” and has altered the law to disallow the state of Texas to require an abortionist to offer a woman an ultrasound of her unborn child.  Judge Sparks considers the act of offering a pregnant woman an image of her baby to be simply a means to “advance an ideological agenda” with which he disagrees—but again, what is so disagreeable about offering a woman a chance to know more about the procedure she is about to undergo?

Pro-abortion advocates will find this block to be a victory for women, because they claim that performing the ultrasound on a pre-abortive woman is “invasive,” although performing an ultrasound beforehand is standard to determine the age of the baby (and the price of the abortion).  They believe that offering a woman a chance to see her preborn baby prior to an abortion as labeling her “incompetent to make important decisions,” as Julie Rikelman, attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights in NY, states.  However, no rational person could possibly fathom how giving a woman all the information about abortion, including the option to view what the “product of pregnancy” to be removed looks like, is the same as considering her “incompetent.”  If abortion and informed choice is about empowering women, shouldn’t pro-choice advocates be applauding this law?

Texas Alliance for Life, a non-profit, non-partisan organization based in Austin, states that they “believe this case will be appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will allow it to be fully enforced.”  Until then, women will be legally denied the right to view the image of their unborn child prior to an abortion, squelching their right to be fully informed on a permanent, life-changing decision.

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