Via HuffPost Politics we learn that Texas lawmakers have passed legislation requiring doctors to perform a sonogram before conducting an abortion.
The legislation requires doctors to conduct a sonogram at least 24 hours before an abortion and to provide the woman with the opportunity to see the results and hear the fetal heartbeat. The doctor is also required to describe what the sonogram shows.
In cases of incest, rape or fetal abnormality, the woman doesn’t have to hear a description of the fetus.
Fox News Houston reports, “the bill’s author, Republican State Senator Dan Patrick, said a woman would not be forced to look at the results.
“Are sonograms performed now? The answer is yes. Planned Parenthood testified over the years they already do the sonograms in 100 percent of the cases, they simply don’t show the woman and if the woman asks they say they can’t see it. What this bill does is simply say the woman has the option to see the sonogram, has the option to hear the heartbeat and must have an explanation,” said the Senator.
NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, a non-profit state-wide organization, issued this statement, “Patrick consistently fails to publicly mention the hardship that the 24-waiting period between the sonogram and abortion will cause for those who live in the 93% of Texas counties that don’t have an abortion provider. Indeed, this bill is designed to shame women, as if we are daft creatures unable to make personal, private medical decisions without the paternalistic oversight of legislators.”
The fact that, “In cases of incest, rape or fetal abnormality, the woman doesn’t have to hear a description of the fetus,” makes it abundantly clear this has nothing to do with providing women with more data to make an informed decision, and everything to do with punitively inflicting mental anguish, shame, and guilt on women who have already made a choice… all while making it harder for disadvantaged women to obtain care by requiring they have the means to make multiple trips to medical facilities which are very distant to where they live.
Caring providers of women’s health care, doctors, OBGYN specialists, medical clinics, hospital emergency room personnel and ultrasound technicians, DELIBERATELY LEAVE THE SOUND OFF and keep the screen turned away when performing a pelvic ultrasound on any woman if they don’t know if she is pregnant, or know if she is aware she is pregnant and does/does not intend to carry the pregnancy to term, even if they’re only doing the sonogram in the ER to check for a ruptured ovarian cysts or rule out appendicitis.
Doctors leave the sound off because Doctors DON’T WANT TO HARM THEIR PATIENTS.
Don’t be fooled. It’s great that a bunch of wealthy middle aged white dudes are trying to act like they’re just doing this because they know how to handle women’s personal decision making better than medical providers or the women themselves, when in reality they’re probably just being sadistic asshats trying to either get their way, or punish women when they can’t, by inflicting pain and suffering.