A controversial abortion bill in Texas is closer to becoming law after the measure was approved in the Texan House of Representatives last week. The state Senate has already approved a similar measure.
Women in Texas seeking an abortion would be required to receive an ultrasound 24-72 hours prior to the abortion. They would view sonogram, hear an explanation of the image, and listen to the heartbeat, if it was audible. The measure was designated a legislative emergency by Republican Governor Rick Perry which allowed the bill to be addressed before other measures.
“We want to make sure that they’re fully informed, that they understand the medical consequences, the psychological consequences and everything involved in the procedure,” said the bill’s author, Republican state Rep. Sid Miller.
Proponents insist the bill is very pro-woman. “This is to give women more information,” said Kyleen Wright, president of the Arlington-based Texans for Life Coalition. “There are a significant number of women who deeply regret [abortions].”
“This is about making sure women have all the information available to them. They can study the information … before they make a forever decision. It’s very pro-woman.”
Opponents of the measure state that the bill would represent government intrusion and would make a difficult situation even worse. During debate on the House floor, Rep. Carol Alvarado held up a trans-vaginal probe used for sonograms early in pregnancy to illustrate what she called a “very intrusive process.”
“This is not the jelly on the belly that most of you think,” said Alvarado, a Houston Democrat. “This is government intrusion at its best.”
The House measure still has to be worked out with the Senate bill before it can go to Perry for his signature. Republicans tried unsuccessfully to pass the sonogram proposal in 2007 and 2009. The measure benefitted from a much larger Republican majority in the House this year after the Republican victories in the 2010 elections.
On The Web
- Texas Abortion Bill Sparks Controversy (africanaonline.com)
- Anti-Abortion Measure Defeated in Wyoming (africanaonline.com)
- South Dakota Senate Passes Anti-Abortion Bill (africanaonline.com)