Call For Amnesty International To Come To Texas In Response To State-Mandated Rape Of Forced Sonogram Law
In addition to my postings here, I’ve co-written a letter to Amnesty International asking that this organization come to Texas to investigate this matter, and to take any steps they find appropriate to bring this concern to greater national and international attention. This letter was sent to Amnesty on March 26, 2012.
My co-authors on this letter were fellow Texans Amy Price and Sarah Slamen.
Here is an Amnesty mission statement from their website—
We work to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied. Currently the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, we investigate and expose abuses, educate and mobilize the public, and help transform societies to create a safer, more just world. We received the Nobel Peace Prize for our life-saving work.
Amy, Sarah and myself believe that addressing the state-mandated rape of the Texas forced sonogram law is consistent with the purpose of Amnesty International.
It is up to everyday citizens to do the work of freedom and justice. If you’d like to be involved with fighting this cruel law, please leave a comment on the blog or e-mail me at naa email@example.com.
Here is the letter—
To Amnesty International and Amnesty International USA,
In its 2011 legislative session, the state of Texas enacted the “Women’s Right to Know Act”, which states that any woman seeking a constitutionally- protected abortion must undergo an ultrasound prior to the abortion. According to a study done by the Centers for Disease Control, 88% of all abortions in the United States are conducted in the first trimester. Realistically, this bill amounts to a de facto mandate of trans-vaginal ultrasounds for Texas women seeking abortions.
A trans-vaginal ultrasound requires that a hand-held device be inserted directly into the vagina. Unless the abortion is being performed for medical reasons, Texas women can not opt-out of this procedure.
This physically coerced medical procedure qualifies as sexual assault under section 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code, which reads as follows:
A person commits an offense if the person: intentionally or knowingly causes the penetration of the anus or sexual organ of another person by any means, without that person’s consent.
It qualifies as rape under federal definition, revised this year:
Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object…without the consent of the victim.
It qualifies as rape as defined by the Word Health Organization:
Physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – even if slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object.
By these definitions, the State of Texas has mandated rape. To date the United States government has not intervened. The women of Texas deserve protection from this rape. The citizens of Texas should not have rape committed in their name. We, as citizens of Texas, are asking Amnesty International to investigate this human rights abuse.
Neil Aquino Amy Price Sarah Slamen