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Mandatory Pre-Abortion Ultrasounds?

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The ultrasound issue is the top priority this session for anti-abortion groups, and supporting it is a way for politicians to prove their conservative credentials.

Ultrasound Monitor

A bill requiring women seeking an abortion to first get an ultrasound got a big push Tuesday from three top Texas Republicans.

Gov. Rick Perry touted the proposal at an anti-abortion rally at the state's Capitol. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst -- who had just spoken at a news conference featuring a live ultrasound -- also spoke at the rally. So did Attorney General Greg Abbott, who said that if the bill becomes law and is challenged, he would "aggressively defend" its constitutionality. All three are expected to run for office in 2010.

The bill would require doctors to show an ultrasound image to women seeking abortions, make the fetal heartbeat audible and talk about the picture and sound. The women would not be required to look at the image.

Opponents say the proposal interferes with the doctor-patient relationship and shames women who are already in a difficult situation.

But Texas officials are all for it. "It gives an opportunity to a woman ... to listen to the sonogram, hear the heartbeat and perhaps change her mind, because once a procedure is done ... there's no going back," Dewhurst said at the news conference.

Dr. Scott Spear, medical director for Planned Parenthood in Austin, said that it is already their procedure that all women who have an abortion at their facility get an ultrasound and are offered the chance to see the image.

"This legislation is getting involved in the examining room and prescribing what I need to say -- things that aren't necessarily in the patient's best interest," Spear said.

The Texas Medical Association opposes the bill, in part because it interferes with the doctor-patient relationship, said Dr. Albert Gros, chairman of the association's council on legislation.

What do you think?

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30 comments so far | Post a comment now
stes February 25, 2009, 5:28 PM

How about when Texas actually starts taking better care of the children that are born and ensuring their health and safety we all can revisit this issue. Too many abortion restrictive states basically force women into having babies but then fail at helping these women and their children over all.

maeby February 25, 2009, 6:01 PM

completely agree with stes.
im so sick of these republicans who want to save some cells but want nothing to do with helping it after its born. idiots.

N February 25, 2009, 6:10 PM

screw these stupid republicans and their ideas

Kristen February 25, 2009, 6:22 PM

When republicans start requiring pregnant teenagers to sit through a video program of women talking about how their decision TO abort was good, then I will support something like this but not until then. You have to be willing to present both sides and shaming women and using scare tactics is NOT acceptible.

Peggy Gorman February 25, 2009, 6:35 PM

Did I just time travel back to the 60’s?
Shame on these men .
The ultrasound issue is the top priority?? Lets feed and care for the children already here in the world.
Lets take a vote and whoever wants this passed,these people pay extra taxes for the children. See how far they then it would be a top priority?

Jen February 25, 2009, 8:47 PM

This is a waste of money and the technician’s time.

Robin February 25, 2009, 9:44 PM

How about instead investing time and resources into better sex ed and preventative measures?

Wendi February 25, 2009, 10:30 PM

How about we look at it as killing a baby and they have no right to do so. Maybe if they would see the baby and hear the heartbeat they may actully grow a conscience and let the child live and accept responsibility for their actions and the life that they created.

Amy February 26, 2009, 12:47 AM

Waste of time and shamefully degrading to woman. We woman have a right to decide whats best for us. Nobody will put a laws on what I do with my body. Leave us alone!
This is already a difficult, personal decision, don’t place your views on our shoulders as well. If you don’t want an abortion don’t have one and shut up.

Anonymous February 26, 2009, 1:58 PM

“How about we look at it as killing a baby and they have no right to do so. Maybe if they would see the baby and hear the heartbeat they may actully grow a conscience and let the child live and accept responsibility for their actions and the life that they created.
- Wendi”

if every woman in america had endless resources for unexpected children, this wouldnt be such an issue. is it fair to the child, to force a mother to have it thats unprepared, forcing it into a potential life of poverty, etc.?

chris February 26, 2009, 1:59 PM

Okay…I’m going to make my point and no one is going to like it but this is the way I see it. It’s all about personal responsibility. I love the saying “we woman have a right to decide whats best for us and or body” I am not for nor against abortion, I believe that is a decision that should truly be made in private BUT I do have a problem with so many girls/woman who have babies and then except the taxpayers to pay for them. There are so many babies being born to girls/woman who are too young to support them, who have no goals or plans for their futures and no support from the babies fathers. How come we as women aren’t doing a better job of telling our young girls how NOT to get into this situation? Sex education should and needs to start at home. We as parents need to set better examples for our children if we expect them to do better than us. So I say if having to listen to a child heartbeat before you abort it can prevent a girl/woman from making the same mistake a second time then I see nothing wrong with that. And if you happen to be one of the people who doesn’t believe that abortion is killing a baby because the baby isn’t born yet there you should have no problem with it even if you hear the heartbeat because it’s truly not a person yet. And yes I am a women.

Suzanne Eller February 26, 2009, 2:43 PM

As a woman and human being, I want to know what is being done to my body, no matter what the procedure is. It’s what I required when I had breast cancer, what I expected with any surgery or procedure I’ve ever had. I want to weigh my options, understand what is happening, and then make a decision based on all the facts and information. This allows women the right to understand what the procedure is, and if they want to follow through.

Anonymous February 26, 2009, 6:08 PM

Your body? You had a right to make a smart decision, but once “your body” is growing somebody else’s body then they should have a say, if only through one peak through an ultrasound to say,”Hey I am a living sentient being.”

ame i. February 27, 2009, 9:30 AM

I’m not a Republican or a Demorcrat,but I am a mother. Except in the case of rape, sex doesn’t just happen. Anyone old enough to have sex knows that pregnancy is a possibility, even if using precautions.
Women should have to hear the heartbeat of the child they are killing.

Mom February 27, 2009, 2:37 PM

This is a load of crap.

mercaties February 28, 2009, 11:24 PM

I’m all for women’s rights but how is murder a right that anyone should have. If it has a heartbeat (thus the reason for the ultrasound) then it’s a life. Yes, I agree that the children that are here need to be taken care of but murdering the ones who aren’t isn’t the answer either.

Chrissy May 19, 2009, 10:10 AM

I am for it! I agree with others here saying that both sides need to be offered to the women. The reality of abortion, which lots of women who have abortions try to “black out” or ignore for thier own sanity is what usually gets them to the operating table. There are tons of options out there! Adoption is the biggest help if you really don’t think you can handle a child right now. What if people find out you let your baby get adopted? I’ll tell ya what, I have more respect for the women who let that child live, own up thier responsibility and be mature enough to make that big decision. I made the decision twice to have and keep my babies, both in very unpromising situations. I am a full time student working part time and doing very well, I wouldn’t of taken it back! The state of Texas… KEEP FIGHTING FOR THIS!!! I also agree that sex education and the systems out there to teach women and girls about the reality of sex needs to be better. talk to your kids, my mother never did until it was too late. She was the one who said, “your life is not over, it’s just going in a different direction.” those words changed everything in the second it took her to say them.

CK1 May 19, 2009, 12:02 PM

For those who don’t know the facts: there are crisis pregnancy centers all over Texas that will provide you with cribs, diapers, formula, clothes for the baby, maternity clothes, rent assistance, etc. I personally, volunteer for one in San Antonio, TX. There are MANY in San Antonio and our surrounding area that would GLADLY help a mother in need. We specifically let women know that they DO have an option…LIFE for their baby. We are there to support women in anyway. That includes helping them get medical care. I am proud to work for such an organization that gives women and their children hope. We run strictly on support from the community. We do not discriminate against anyone nor do they have to qualify according to income. ANYBODY that needs help is given anything they ask for. No questions asked. We are about saving lives. That includes the mother. Abortion has long term affects on a mother. Post Abortion Syndrome, possible infertility, spontaneous miscarriages…the list goes on. It is dangerous. The abortions (SURGERY) are performed in a clinic NOT A HOSPITAL. They are not qualified nor prepared for emergency situations such as excessive bleeding, punctured bowel, etc. Women have died because they did not get adequate medical treatment after an abortion. To support abortion is to support the unethical treatment of mothers and their children. It is wrong. By the way, we are PRO-LIFE activists. How would you like to be called ANTI-LIFE? The term Pro-abortion is sickening, as well. That means you are Pro-killing of babies. If you really want to help women, then be a volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center that helps a woman choose life for her baby. Donate your time and your money so that a baby can have a chance in this world. Be unselfish and it will given back to you. The rewards are endless when you see a child you saved happy and healthy. It is just amazing!

Ugh. May 19, 2009, 1:25 PM

I’m tired of people saying how difficult it is to choose to have an abortion. It’s not a difficult decision to make if you don’t believe its a child. In reality, in your conscious, you know it’s a life. You know that you’re killing a living human being. It’s not growing into something else. It has a complete DNA structure of a human.
It’s difficult because every other fiber of your being is saying “no,” but your selfish and spoiled sides are getting to you and you listen.
An ultrasound is an ultrasound. If you truly don’t believe it’s a child, and just a bunch of cells, or worse yet, a tumor, then what do you care?

CK1 May 19, 2009, 6:36 PM

Thank God for Governor Perry, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Senator Cornyn. I am proud of our Texas legislators. They are always fighting for the rights of the unborn and deserve to be commended. There are many more Texas legislators that are conservative and Texans stand up with all of them to defend life. We are a Pro-Life state. We work hard to support mothers and their children to ensure a healthy happy environment for them. Our state is working on the Pro-Life license plates to help fund a program for mothers and their babies. Every human being deserves a chance at life. I am happy to live in a state that understands this.

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