By Dave Andrusko
The pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights stepped up its attack on Texas’ new sonogram law Thursday, filing a preliminary injunction request in federal court. The New York-based CRR argued the law shouldn’t go into effect on September 1 until a judge rules that it doesn’t violate medical ethics rules and patients’ rights.
The new law says that the abortion-vulnerable woman must be able to see an ultrasound at least 24 hours before an abortion is performed and that the abortionist must give “in a manner understandable to a layperson, a verbal explanation of the results of the sonogram images, including a medical description of the dimensions of the embryo or fetus, the presence of cardiac activity, and the presence of external members and internal organs.”
The woman, of course, may choose not to view the sonogram.
The CRR maintains the law “barges in on the doctor-patient relationship,” in the words of Nancy Northrup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. State Rep. Sid Miller, author of the measure, had a far different take.
“It would be pretty hard to interfere with the doctor/patient relationship when there’s not one,” he told the Huffington Post. “This bill is about allowing the doctor to explain the sonogram, which is not happening now. What we’re trying to do is give her all the information available so she can make an educated decision.”
The measure became law May 20 after a long, drawn-out series of negotiations, votes in the House (94-41) and Senate (21-10, on a second reading), and the signature of pro-life Gov. Rick Perry.
At the time the bill became law, Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life, said Texas RTL was “pleased that Governor Perry signed the sonogram bill.”
“The sonogram is an important piece of informed consent before abortion,” she said. “If the new sonogram law is followed as intended by legislators, most women considering abortion will see the active child and hear the heartbeat and choose to continue their pregnancies.”
The importance of sonograms are that they “offer a mother a window to her womb, giving her a first glimpse of her living unborn child at his earliest stage of life,” said Mary Spaulding Balch, Director of the National Right to Life State Legislation Department. “This is an essential piece of information for any mother if her decision is to be truly informed.”