Forced Trans-Vaginal Sonogram Bill Blocked For Now

Here are some things relevant to your interests with regard to the forced trans-vaginal sonogram bill which was passed in the last legislative session. It would have gone into effect on Thursday had the Center for Reproductive Rights not filed suit claiming, among other things, that the bill is a violation the First Amendment, in that it forces speech upon doctors. Reports the Texas Tribune on Judge Sam Sparks’ ruling:

The state cannot enforce the sonogram law — one of the most controversial issues of the 82nd legislative session — until a court rules on a suit filed against the law in June, Sparks said.

Citing First Amendment protections, Sparks struck down three requirements that would have required doctors to show women an ultrasound of the fetus, make the fetus’ heartbeat audible and describe the fetus to the woman. “The act compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen,” Sparks wrote in his ruling.

While you’re watching this news spread today, keep an eye on the illustrations that go along with the story. Chances are, you’ll find a photo of a very pregnant woman–when in fact, the vast majority of abortions take place in the first trimester.

For fun, go read how anti-choice reported the news and how it describes the bill. (Fun example: “The legislation allows women to see the ultrasound 24 hours before the abortion,” because this is the nicest most amenable law ever, it is so allowing!)



About andrea grimes

Andrea is a journalist living in Austin, TX. She has a master's degree in anthropology and did her thesis work on gender and stand-up comedy. Seriously. Also, she has a bunch of cats. Three of them. Is three a bunch? Discuss.
This entry was posted in abortion, activism, feminism, health care, legal issues, news, politics, religion, reproductive health. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Forced Trans-Vaginal Sonogram Bill Blocked For Now

  1. Carl says:

    Why is it that 2/3 of the “Contributing Bloggers” on Lifenews are male? “Allow” my ass.

  2. wadingacross says:

    What are the unborn? What is abortion?

    Most women aren’t aware that they’re pregnant until 4 to 8 weeks in. Around 5 weeks the brain and heart has formed and the heart is beginning to beat.

    Legality does not make something morally right. Legality does not decide humanity.

    A man has just as much right to discuss the issue of abortion as a woman does.

    • Rooster says:

      Forcing a potential mother to view an ultrasound of the fetus, make the fetus’ heartbeat audible and describe the fetus in detail to the woman is nothing more than medical terrorism, which is exactly how the court ruled.

      And this is your idea of “humane”?

      If you don’t like abortion. Fine. Ban it. But this kind of crap is unnecessary.

      Just because you want to “educate” someone who does not want your input, does not make you “humane”.

    • bobby says:

      When you say “a man” do you actually mean “a doctor?”
      This particular issue shouldn’t even be about gender, but it is. It should be about patient’s rights vs. doctor’s political agenda.
      This is a medical procedure that should not be treated differently from other medical procedures. It should not be given a moral weight, which is the whole point.
      One should be made known of the (actual) side effects of the procedure, but not made to feel guilty by one’s nagging parent.
      Should I remove an arm that has gangrene, I do not think a conservative male doctor would show me photos of the arm, put a stethoscope up to my wrist so I can hear the pulse, and then make me think about what I’m choosing to do like a rebellious teen.

  3. Rooster says:

    Regardless of your views on abortion….

    In the state of Texas, we’re laying off teachers, our schools are shit, our roads aren’t any better, we’re staring down a massive deficit….

    …..and THIS is what these clowns decided to concentrate on in the last legislative session?

    • Rooster, there is no priority higher than making sure the vaginae of Texas are sewn up until such a time as some dude has use for them. I would not even be surprised if there’s an anti-choicer out there somewhere arguing that if Texas can just get right with God on abortion, everything else (teachers, roads, debt) will fall into place.

  4. Pingback: Judge strikes parts of Texas sonogram abortion law « Bitter Harvest

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  6. Carl says:

    Several points with regard to this thread: First, I do believe men have a right to speak on the subject of abortion, absolutely. I’m a man, and I don’t want to discount my own opinion any more than it has been. That said, I think there’s something to be said regarding the authenticity of voice that is gained by who you are. For example, if I were to open a blog on testicular cancer, even though it certainly affects women who have loved ones who experience it, and there are certainly female experts on testicular cancer out there (one would assume), I would definitely think it odd if 6 out of the 9 bloggers featured on the site were women. This is compounded in this particular case because of a patriarchal history regarding the topic of reproduction. So the male domination of voices on the site is just an observation, certainly, but I believe it’s an observation that I felt need to be made. You can certainly take it as you want to. You can take as, “Hey, what’s the big deal? Men can speak about abortion.” I see it and say, “Hmm. This is a group of white guys talking about a subject that only affects women and disproportionately women of color.” I believe that is something to which attention should be drawn.
    Second, this is not just “allowing” women to get a medically necessary sonogram. This is about requiring physicians to perform a particularly invasive type of sonogram. In particular, it is being forced upon women who are in a particularly vulnerable situation. I don’t know about the statistics, but I don’t know many women who go for abortions for fun. Typically, these are women who are going through a lot financially, emotionally, and physically.
    Third, I’m dismayed that we cannot work on the root causes of abortion in this country. Why don’t we work on developing age-appropriate sex education that might provide alternatives to the fourth highest teenage pregnancy rate in the states? Why not make birth control easier to come by, particularly for people who can least afford to have babies? Why not better fund prenatal care? Why not better fund schools in general? Why not better fund jobs skills training? Why aren’t we working on rape prevention? If children are going to be born because we don’t want sex education or birth control, why don’t we have better access to CHIP or Medicaid? It seems that we’re all for having babies here, but not for having healthy, happy kids. I don’t believe in banning abortion. I believe in taking real steps to help reduce the number of women who will ever face that choice. Criminalizing women (or their health care providers) or harming them emotionally by making them go through unnecessary procedures or placing bureaucratic measures in their way does not express the compassion that I feel every person deserves.
    Finally, I’m dismayed that we cannot have a conversation about controversial topics without resorting to name-calling or inflammatory hyperbole. I know it can be emotional for people on both sides of the issue, perhaps because we’ve settled on sides that have become so black and white for so many (choice vs. child). Filling our lives with hate and targeting others because of it through our use of language cannot be productive. I don’t believe we convince others to come to our side though spiteful words. If there is any way at all (and I don’t know that there is), in my mind, it is through our compassion for each other as human beings that we are moved to change our lives and perspectives. I don’t think this ever happens through a language of hate.
    I’ll be quiet now (or try to).

  7. Pingback: Sonogram Law To Be Enforced While Its Challenged In Court | HAY LADIES!

  8. Pingback: Meet The Anti-Choice Judge Behind Texas’ Forced Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound Decision | HAY LADIES!

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