Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Texas Forced Sonogram Bill On Way Towards Passage—15 Men And 2 Women

The Texas forced sonogram bill is on the way to Governor Rick Perry’s desk. The Governor intends to sign the bill.

Below is what Republican State Senator Dan Patrick–the Senate sponsor of the bill– said about the picture you see above—

“Speaking at the House press conference this morning on their acceptance of the latest version of the bill. Thanks to Rep Miller (white hat) and House members who worked with us to pass this bill.”

Senator Patrick is the gentleman shaking hands with the fellow in the white hat.

I count 15 men and 2 women in that picture.

Those are some of the people responsible for the fact that in Texas the state government will soon force some women to undergo unwanted highly invasive medical procedures.

Here are some details about the forced sonogram bill from the Houston Chronicle

“… a bill requiring a woman seeking an abortion to view sonogram images of her fetus tentatively passed the state Senate. The vote was 21-10. State Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston… said he was confident the legislation would pass the House and make it to the governor’s desk, thereby giving Texas what he called “one of the strongest bills dealing with this issue in the country.”  Labeled “emergency” legislation by Gov. Rick Perry early in the session, the bill would require the image to be shown to the woman at least 24 hours before an abortion is performed. It also would require doctors or medical professionals to play audio of the fetal heartbeat if there is one and point out to the woman the arms, legs and internal organs of the fetus. A woman could choose not to view the sonogram or hear the heartbeat but would be required to listen as the medical professional points out the arms, legs and internal organs that are visible on the screen.Victims of rape and incest would be exempt from the sonogram requirement, under Patrick’s bill.”

If the state can force one medical procedure on free citizens, why can’t it force any medical procedure on free citizens?

Yet the same people turn around and say it is wrong to compel people to buy health insurance as part of health care reform.

In Texas, “Choose life” appears to mean choose a crappy life with no health insurance, no social security, no steady work, and no quality education.

Will women who refuse the sonograms be arrested? Will they be in some way forced to get the sonogram? Will doctors be forced to detail patient conversations in order to prosecute women who refuse to comply?

This is how the State of Texas defines small government and personal freedom.

The good news is that we all have the ability to fight back and win. Please consider giving to the lobbying arm of Planned Parenthood. You can do so at the national level or where you live.

Here is some information about what Planned Parenthood does in Texas. Planned Parenthood provides many vital health services for women in Texas.

There are always things you can do to make progress. Don’t leave the work of freedom to others. Others don’t always do a very good job with freedom. Especially in Texas.

May 5, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , ,


  1. Isn’t this a form of “government over reach” Perry was so adamant about when he sympathized with Tea Partiers at their rallies?

    Comment by lbwoodgate | May 5, 2011

  2. I have seen two different interpretations of the rape exemption — one that they are exempt from the requirement completely, as it says here, and one that they are exempt from the oral “translation” of the sonogram. My reading of the amendment is that they aren’t exempt from the sonogram, but are only exempt from listening to the explanation of the sonogram.

    Comment by Valerie | May 5, 2011

  3. woodgate–It is about power. The ideology is a vehicle for exercising power at the expense of everyday Texans.

    Valerie–That same point had crossed my mind. Let me see if I can figure that out.

    Thanks for both comments.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | May 5, 2011

  4. Men, of all stripes, want to subjugate women to embarrassing, unforgettable, humiliation and regret. But when women join the ranks of these crass and controlling men, it is just plain disgusting. You women need to learn compassion and caring for those of your sex who want to keep their lives private and their families safe. You women are a disgrace to all of us other women who have had or need to have bodily procedures private. By the way, the State of Texas is paying for these sonograms. The poor state with no money for education, transportation or children’s healthcare. I give up!

    Comment by Brenda Neal | May 5, 2011

  5. There are good arguments against the bill, but calling a sonogram “highly invasive” isn’t one of them. A sonogram doesn’t puncture or cut the body in any way. It’s literally less invasive than a thermometer.

    Nor is “can’t it force any medical procedure on free citizens” a good argument. We’ve already established that the state has the power to order diagnostic procedures on its citizens. Every child born in Texas has his blood drawn (which is invasive) to be tested for various conditions.

    Will women who refuse the sonograms be arrested? Will they be in some way forced to get the sonogram? Will doctors be forced to detail patient conversations in order to prosecute women who refuse to comply?

    The answer to all those questions is no. The bill creates no criminal liability and imposes no criminal penalty. It defines the terms of informed consent. I’m not sure why you’re asking.

    One possibility is that you haven’t read the bill, in which case your analysis of it is unreliable.

    Another is that you have read the bill and are trying to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt by dishonestly raising questions you know to be invalid.

    I oppose the bill, by the way.

    Comment by Matt Bramanti | May 5, 2011

  6. @Matt:

    Have you ever had one of these: http://www.cancer.umn.edu/cancerinfo/NCI/Media/CDR0000618018.jpg? Of course not, because you are a man.

    I have had one. It is definitely more invasive than a thermometer. It is the type of sonogram you have to have in the early stages of pregnancy, when most women have abortions.

    I had my transvaginal sonogram because of a medical condition, not because I was raped. I cannot fathom what it would be like as a rape victim who has been violated to then have to be put through this. Having an abortion after being raped would be bad enough, but to make me have an additional medical procedure and additional wait? The only word I can think of is cruel.

    Comment by Valerie | May 6, 2011

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