According to The Dallas Morning News, a Texas “Senate panel approves bill to require women to see sonogram before abortion.” The bill was sent to the full Senate on Wednesday, February 10, and is “likely” to be considered “as early as next week.”
Annually, the sad fate of hundreds of American children is torture and death at the hands of parents who are incapable of controlling rage, substance abuse, or mental illness, or are ill-equipped or totally unable to be responsible for the life of a child. We don’t know how many abortions have ironically prevented cruel suffering and death. However, if a woman is cognizant enough to realize that she shouldn’t be a mother, it seems reasonable that she should be able to make that choice without coercion from people who are anti- or pro-choice. There is no question that, in some cases, motherhood (and fatherhood) is a disservice to both the prospective child and society.
The bill that the Texas senate is about to consider mandates that a sonogram be performed within 24 hours of an abortion procedure. The patient must be presented with a sonogram and an audiblefetal heartbeat, if detectable, which they can refuse to see or hear.” However, should the patient refuse to see the sonogram or hear the heartbeat, the doctor is required to “orally describe organ, limb and other fetal developments detected on the sonogram.” Too bad no one has developed a fetal personality inventory that would describe exactly what a lovely child the fetus would become if only the parents didn’t choose to “kill” it.
Choosing to have an abortion is not the same as choosing to get a tooth filled. Many women (and men) have to weigh the decision against their own morals, beliefs, and values; other groups' values and beliefs should not be part of the equation. The choice is not made lightly. As harsh as it may sound, some people can make no other choice but to abort. Anti-abortion advocates think that, to be fully informed, people must look at sonograms and listen to heartbeats. Maybe the doctor could present the sonogram, saying “here’s the kid you’re going to murder.” After all, if the point is to ensure that the parents are absolutely positive about the procedure, shouldn’t they be forced to endure emotional torture in order to exercise their right?
Now, if Texas wants to be fair, there could also be a state-mandated slideshow for all pregnant women, depicting what life will be like with a child and without. There could be pictures of well-dressed people in luxury automobiles compared to those of homeless people with seven kids, or posh mansions compared to city housing projects. Doing so would show sensitivity equal to the forcing of someone who doesn’t have the desire to view sonograms and listen to heartbeats, or listen to them described by a doctor. If the state is going to make those who choose to abort reconsider, shouldn’t the state do the same to those who choose not to abort?
It is repugnant that legislature feels it should be that intimately involved in a highly personal decision someone makes in accordance with her legal rights. As a citizen, I am offended by this shameful attempt to further intrude on a patient’s privacy and the doctor/patient relationship. As a human being, I am indignant that any state would consider using such tactics to deprive someone of her rights via coercion. As a mother, I am incensed that the State of Texas would appropriate one of the few tools we have for getting our children to conform to our wishes—emotional blackmail. Shame on you, Texas.