In Addition To Being State-Mandated Rape, The Texas Forced Sonogram Law Is About Humiliation—Texas Progressive Alliance Round-Up
At the end of this post you will find the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas.
With the round-up this week is an account from the Texas Observer about the new Texas forced sonogram law.
The Texas forced sonogram law is many instances state-mandated rape. Additionally, it is in every case a humiliation for women that serves no purpose other than as an expression of the power of the State of Texas and the far-right extremists who currently hold sway in Texas.
Here are excerpts from a first-person account of the sonogram law in action from an Austin writer named Carolyn Jones that was published in The Observer—
Halfway through my pregnancy, I learned that my baby was ill…“I’m worried about your baby’s head shape,” (my doctor) said. “I want you to see a specialist—now…before I’d even known I was pregnant, a molecular flaw had determined that our son’s brain, spine and legs wouldn’t develop correctly. If he were to make it to term..he’d need a lifetime of medical care. From the moment he was born, my doctor told us, our son would suffer greatly…my husband and I drove through a spaghetti of highways, one of which led us to a nondescript building..This was Planned Parenthood’s surgical center,…my husband filled out the paperwork….Meanwhile, I was enclosed with a cheerful-looking counselor who had colored hair and a piercing in her nose. Feeling like someone who’d stumbled into the wrong room, I told her between choked sobs how we’d arrived at her clinic on the highway.“I am so sorry,” the young woman said with compassion, and nudged the tissues closer. Then, after a moment’s pause, she told me reluctantly about the new Texas sonogram law that had just come into effect…..My counselor said that the law required me to have another ultrasound that day, and that I was legally obligated to hear a doctor describe my baby. I’d then have to wait 24 hours before coming back for the procedure. She said that I could either see the sonogram or listen to the baby’s heartbeat, adding weakly that this choice was mine. “I don’t want to have to do this at all,” I told her. “I’m doing this to prevent my baby’s suffering. I don’t want another sonogram when I’ve already had two today. I don’t want to hear a description of the life I’m about to end. Please,” I said, “I can’t take any more pain..The doctor and nurse were professional and kind, and it was clear that they understood our sorrow. They too apologized for what they had to do next. For the third time that day, I exposed my stomach to an ultrasound machine, and we saw images of our sick child forming in blurred outlines on the screen….“I’m so sorry that I have to do this,” the doctor told us, “but if I don’t, I can lose my license.” Before he could even start to describe our baby, I began to sob until I could barely breathe. Somewhere, a nurse cranked up the volume on a radio, allowing the inane pronouncements of a DJ to dull the doctor’s voice. Still, despite the noise, I heard him. His unwelcome words echoed off sterile walls while I, trapped on a bed, my feet in stirrups, twisted away from his voice.
If this abortion had been earlier in the pregnancy, than the nature of the probe to determine the state of the fetus would have been more invasive.
I’ve been writing about this issue often on the blog. I’m going to have much more about to say about this topic in the days and weeks ahead. I encourage all Texans to do what they can to draw attention to the forced sonogram bill, and to help change the social and political climate in Texas to where this law can be repealed and to where we can start to treat every Texan with respect.
Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes, engage in acts of civil disobedience, and to run for public office.
Here is the round-up—
BossKitty at TruthHugger discovered with minimal effort that any group using the words God, Christian, or Jesus has a free ride with the right wing media. Why is accountability off the table if you use those specific words? Rush Limbaugh, blinded by hatred for anything Obama, leaped before he looked at the facts … and casually acted surprised when the truth was revealed, in Limbaugh Endorsed Christian Cannibals.
BlueBloggin was thrilled that the recent solar activity was only a light show. But because scientists warn that 2012 will experience more frequent solar events, why are the 2012 candidates ignoring this science? Updated: What is a CME and Why Should Presidential Candidates Care. Continue reading
Former Texas Lt. Gov. Hobby, An Establishment Figure, Wonders If The Republican Intent Is To Ruin Texas
The Texas Observer has posted this nine minute talk by former Democratic Texas Lt. Governor William Hobby. Mr. Hobby served as Lt. Governor from 1973-1991.
In this talk, Mr. Hobby wonders if the intent of Governor Perry and the Republican majorities in the Texas legislature is to ruin the future of Texas with sharp cuts to education and other essential services and functions of government.
Mr. Hobby says our tax structure is not adequate to meet the needs of Texas. He says that the Republican leadership of Texas is engaging in a kind of “insanity.”
Mr. Hobby is not a big liberal. He is very much an establishment figure. He simply seems to have a hard time believing what he seeing in Texas.
All the facts are out there about the impact of the budget being discussed in Austin and where there budget will take our state.
It really comes down to the decision of each individual Texan that they are going to make the call to work with others to bring about a better future for Texas.
Every individual has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, talk to friends and family, start a blog, donate money, write a letter to the editor, volunteer for candidates and causes you value, and even run for public office.
Blogger’s Note–Because I have some other projects I want to take on, I’ll be offering up shorter and more formulaic posts for the remainder of August. These posts will still be quite good and will merit your visiting the blog each day. Yet at the same time, shorter posts will allow me time to accomplish other objectives. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal.
Texas Liberal Book Of The Day–—William Carlos Williams-Selected Poems. As you see above, Houseplant is reading this book. Mr. Williams does not waste a word in his poems. I wish that we all could combine discipline with meaning to such a degree.
Link Of The Day—The Nation Magazine offers up a series of viewpoints this week debating the Obama administration from the liberal perspective. I feel the Health Care Reform law was a significant accomplishment that will help millions of people get care. (Click the link to see what the bill really does instead of just hearing all the lies.) Overall, I give Mr. Obama a grade of B to this point.
Texas Link Of The Day–-The Texas Observer writes that Texas Democrats have lagged behind Republicans and the campaigns of Governor Rick Perry in the door-to-door solicitation of votes. What I’d add to this observation is that here in Harris County. Texas, Democrats have been very slow to register historically low-turnout groups.
You’d almost think that many elected Democrats in Harris County are content with winning election in safe low turnout districts. You might also feel that some of these folks have no real interest in representing the concerns of the poor and of the large Hispanic population of Houston and Harris County.
Yet I’m certain that such a thing could not be true. Of course not.
President Obama is holding a press conference today at 11:45 Central Time. I’m going to watch that conference on C-Span.org and blog about it as it is taking place.
Above is the famous press conference where a man tossed a shoe at former President George W. Bush.
11:40—Watching the CNN coverage leading up the press conference. Blah. Blah. Blah.
11:49—The press conference has begun.
11:52–The President is saying that the Federal Government has been been strongly involved in addressing the spill and that BP is under the direction of the government. This may be so, but why are we hearing this strong assertion of the government’s role 35 days into the crisis. Why does Mr. Obama seem to wait until political trouble has begun to say tough things?
11:56—Mr. Obama says that the Gulf Coast is still a good place to visit. He says that only a small number of beaches in Louisiana are impacted by oil. I’d encourage you to visit Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast. It is a great place to take a walk and have dinner.
12:00—President Obama is making the case for regulation of the oil industry. By extension, he is making the case for government regulation in a number of regards. How can people look at this disaster and feel that private firms can be left to regulate themselves?
12:02–Mr. Obama says that this spill is a clear call for new sources of energy. But what about conservation? Don’t the people themselves bear some fault for our need for all this oil?
12:06—Just got up to get some macaroni salad for lunch. The macaroni salad package was open and I had to e-mail my wife to make sure that she was the one who had opened it rather than some crazy person at the supermarket. She replied and said that she had indeed opened the package.
12:09—Question asking if all possible has really been done when many are saying this is not the case. The President says our response has not been perfect, but does reflect the fact that all that can be done in a realistic sense has been done. I suppose you could say that about just about anything in life.
12:15–Question is about calls that the government take command of the spill response from BP. By that logic, which I have no problem with, the government could take over a number things that the private sector can’t seem to get right. Health care would be a good start.
12:18–The Texas Observer has a great story about how the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is a friend of industry rather than a friend of the people of Texas. Some people in Texas live in a kind of oil slick of bad air each day. These folks need a disaster response plan as well.
12:22—The President is again saying that oil companies have not been well-regulated for offshore drilling. The next thing the President could better regulate is overfishing in the Gulf of Mexico that is being conducted by some of the very same people now upset that they can’t fish.
12:25–A question was asked if “heads should roll” over this spill. Below is Francisco de Goya‘s The French Penalty.
12:32–Helen Thomas wants to know when we are going to get out of Afghanistan. I was wondering a few days ago why opposition to our two wars seems to have become silent with Mr. Obama in office. It could have to do with the fact that the Iraq War is winding down. It could also be that some of the opposition was politically motivated and left-of-center political groups don’t want to criticize Mr. Obama. Helen Thomas is 89! Good for her.
12:38–Questions now about how Mr. Obama could have ever thought that the oil companies would do the right thing in the Gulf. Yeah–I agree. I don’t know how he could have thought that at anytime before or after the spill.
12:41—The President just referred to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina by his first name. I bet the Tea Party in South Carolina already has a press release up calling Senator Graham a socialist for being buddy-buddy with Mr. Obama.
12:46—Question about immigration and the Arizona immigration law. I think that the border of Texas with other states should be policed to make sure our ignorant textbooks don’t crossover to dumb down students in these other states.
12:50—The President says that the spill is what he thinks about when he goes to bed at night. He also says that he comes from Hawaii “where the ocean is sacred.” Here is how the sacred ocean in Hawaii is being treated in regard to health of coral reefs in that state.
12:55—Over and out. Here is a NY Times report on the conference.
(Below–Gerald Ford holds a press conference in the Oval Office. You see Helen Thomas dressed in black and taking notes, and a smirking Dick Cheney leaning on the President’s chair.)
In May of 1961, The Texas Observer, a liberal magazine of politics in Texas, editorialized that its readers should vote for conservative Republican John Tower (Above with LBJ) for the U.S. Senate in the 1961 Special Election. This race was to fill the seat left vacant by Lyndon Johnson winning the Vice Presidency in 1960.
The source for this post is the book Fifty Years Of The Texas Observer.
The Democratic incumbent was William Blakley. Mr. Blakley had been appointed at the beginning of 1961 to fill Vice President Johnson’s seat.
The Observer maintained Mr. Blakley was a Dixiecrat and that in any state outside the South he would be a Republican. The Observer said that both liberals and conservatives had reasons to see Mr. Blakley defeated.
For liberals, forcing the Dixiecrats into the Republican Party would give the left a chance to run the Democratic Party. For conservatives and Republicans, it gave the Republican party a chance to become a real power in Texas.
And, with a strong Republican Party, Texas would finally become a two-party state consistent with modern Democracy.
(The Texas legislature is not yet a real two-party body in the sense of a having a majority and minority leader and a Speaker voted on by strict party line vote. In 2007, this is nearly beyond the conception of any thinking person)
Said the Observer—” It is to be granted, since politics is a game of risks, that when the Republicans have finally accomplished their formidable task, liberals may well be defeated for Governor and the state legislature. But they are being defeated anyway by pseudo-Democrats…..”
Mr. Tower beat Mr. Blakley by a margin of 50.4% to 49.6%. So it could be argued the Observer made an impact in this election.
While the liberal ascendancy has yet to arrive in Texas, I believe I would have supported the Observer in this debate had I been around in 1961.
In 1968, The Observer wrote an editorial called “Humphrey Must Be Defeated to Save the Democratic Party.”
While acknowledging that Vice President Hubert Humphrey was clearly a better candidate than either Mr. Nixon or third-party contender George Wallace, The Observer said Mr. Humphrey’s support of the Vietnam War and his tacit acceptance of Mayor Richard Daley’s brutal police tactics against demonstraters at the Democratic convention in Chicago made him unacceptable.
From the editorial —
“The aim of those on the left and in the center who seek a Humphrey loss…is the restoration of the Democratic Party as the key progressive force in American life. We cannot rely on the Republicans….but right now we cannot rely on the Democrats for progress either; so committed to this disaster of a war is that party that social reform so desperately needed here at home is a fiscal and psychic impossibility…..a Humphrey defeat will restore the party to control of it’s better elements….”
Not being old enough to recall the Vietnam War and 1968, I can’t know what my feelings would have been. The question of voting for Mr. Tower was a tactical question of party politics I can more easily imagine. I think the Humphrey question was one of those things you had to be there for.
Mr. Humphrey carried Texas in 1968 with 41.1% of the vote. Mr. Nixon won 39.9% and Mr Wallace ran third at 19.0%.