Because of a new law in Texas, women seeking an abortion will be required to have an ultrasound 24 hours before they are able to go forward with the procedure.
“This is God’s time to pass this bill,” said Sen. Dan Patrick who is also the bill’s author.
Under the new Texas law, women will have the option to decline seeing the image and hearing the heartbeat. In which case the physician would have to describe the size and characteristics of the fetus, such as the presence of a heartbeat, internal and external organs. If the fetus has malformations the woman would be exempted from hearing the description. As is also the case if rape and incest has occurred, however the woman would still be required to undergo the sonogram.
Texas holds a strong conservative majority, thanks in part to the tea-party victories that swept the nation. Several other states are proposing restrictions on the procedure deemed legal by the U.S. Supreme Court. They range from requiring an ultrasound to requiring the image be shown if a sonogram is being performed.
Still, a spokeswoman for the governor said, “Governor Perry was pleased to sign this important legislation, which bolsters our efforts to protect life by ensuring Texans are fully informed when considering such an important decision.” The governor praised lawmakers for acting so promptly on the measure, after he had declared it a legislative emergency. The law will go into effect September 1st.
Texas democrats feel quite differently. Senator Leticia Van de Putte said that if the goal is to protect unborn children, lawmakers should support children after they are born as well. She urged republicans to support issues like pre-school, vaccines and health insurance.
“Its ironic that republicans oppose health care reform because it’s unconstitutional”, an opponent of the new bill added, “then turn around and pass a bill that directly interferes with the patient-doctor relationship.”