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In Texas, There Is No Greater Emergency Than Mandatory Ultrasounds

In Texas, There Is No Greater Emergency Than Mandatory Ultrasounds

When Texas Judge Sam Sparks put an injunction on a bill that would require all women to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion, listen to a detailed account of the attributes of the embryo or fetus, and hear the heartbeat, the case was quickly appealed to the 5th circuit to review.  The panel of three judges declared that there were no constitutional issues with injecting government into the doctor/patient relationship or mandating the doctor’s speech, and overturned Spark’s decision.

Traditionally, a court provides a small window of time before making a law go into effect.  Head Judge Edith Jones was expected to allow at least 14 days from the decision to let defendants file an appeal. And at the very least, it was assumed that clinics and doctors would have until the end of the month in order to get into compliance. But instead, Jones ruled on Friday the 13th, just three days after the decision was reversed, that the law will go into effect immediately.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, who has been representing the doctors in the case, were shocked. “There is no justification for Texas to have insisted on the immediate enforcement of this intrusive and demeaning law, nor the court of appeals to have granted it without giving us an opportunity to be heard,” said Nancy Northup, president of the center. “Texas reproductive health providers and the women they serve deserve to be treated the same as anyone else seeking a fair hearing from our courts.”

Yet it shouldn’t be surprising that the state went for immediate enforcement, despite on going court battle.  After all, this legislation was submitted as an “emergency bill” by Texas Governor Rick Perry.  The big emergency?  He was running for president and needed a strong anti-choice record to show to the evangelicals in Iowa.

Centers and clinics are making moves already to adhere to the new law, which will add additional expense and waiting to an already costly and hard to access procedure.  Meanwhile, the ruling will still be appealed, and will likely end up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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122 comments

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9:49PM PST on Feb 19, 2013

After reading some of these comments I don't think people really get that this bill isn't forcing them to have ultrasounds, its forcing them to look at them and have a speech detailing the development of the fetus laid out for them. Ultrasounds are actually already routine before an abortion.

I don't think women should be forced to look at them but they should be offered. Counseling is rarely provided to women before having an abortion and many have a hard time coping with their decision afterwards. If they are truely comfortable with their decision then I don't think looking at an ultrasound would change their minds.

11:06AM PST on Feb 19, 2013

Is there anything more repugnant than politicians with a God complex? They're just not the right people to be making decisions that can have such devastating effects on women's lives.

7:49PM PDT on May 27, 2012

Of course this would happen in Texas. That backwards state is the bane of civilised society.

2:49PM PST on Jan 28, 2012

Gee Steve R why is it the only comment you make are on abortion I guess you only give a rats ass about a fetus typical !

4:05AM PST on Jan 28, 2012

When a woman has an abortion there is a reason. A forced ultra sound is just a way to try to make the woman change her mind. It was a hard enough decision to have the abortion in the first place with emotions all over the place. Now, she is forced to maybe hear a heartbeat.

If she does change her mind, who is going to take care of that kid if she can't afford to?

I hope this case gets appealed.

8:41PM PST on Jan 27, 2012

I'm sure these Texan women just don't understand what they're doing and haven't a thought in their heads. It's up to these great men to look out for these poor benighted females who can't fully appreciate what they no doubt have decided on a whim. They woke up that day and said, hmmmm...nothing on my Blackberry. Think I'll get an abortion, then go out for a latte.

12:09AM PST on Jan 23, 2012

That would be the day I would let any of those wanking bastards getting close to my body. Over my dead body.
This is a blatant attack to the privacy of a woman by some hypocritical two faced misogynist Christianist politicians. Talk about reducing big Government!
All women should band together and file a big major class action suit against the State of Texas! We have more power than those ignorant, medieval wanking bastards realize..
And to the "Past member"and anyone who is for this unbelievable invasion on a woman's body, should be prepared to raise the babies and adopt all the unwanted children in foster care..What a bunch of hypocrites and meddling Nazis...Talk about freedom in this country? What a bloody joke if you are a woman..You are still is the middle ages..

2:07AM PST on Jan 22, 2012

As I understand it,ultrasounds were invented to check on foetuses of women having babies in their mid to late 30's,or older,to check for birth defects etc.Then slowly these tests were offerred to younger and younger pregnant women,especially with the added "carrot"that they might like to know the sex of their unborn child! These tests make a lot of money for "Big Medical Industry"but what people don't know,is that the dose of rays has a very adverse effect on the foetus,putting it into a spasm for up to half an hour!!!?This has been linked to health problems after birth?What is going on here??Does it guarantee a whole lot of sick babies after they are born or am I just being my usual cynical self???

10:23PM PST on Jan 20, 2012

Ira L...... I would give you a green star but until I have "friends" on here I can't! If men were the ones carrying chldren this would not even be an issue! My Bible says "and God breathed the breath of life into him" That tells me GOD says the human life and soul begin with the "breath of life" ot at coception! Since the unborn can not breathe, it is not murder to remove them. However to force a woman to carry a child does not, in any way, force her to love that child or be willig to care for it! How may more starving, abused, misused and murdered children do we want to see in this "Country of Plenty"???? ow some states are refusing free lunches in scool to needy children who would not get 1 meal a day without that help!

7:43AM PST on Jan 20, 2012

How about if we had the morals to only have sex in marriage and consider our children our responsibility and blessing instead of the "parasites" you say we once all were. There is nothing different from the "clump of cells" or "parasite" from you or I except time.

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