Texas Sonogram Bill Challenged by Center for Reproductive Rights

by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World

Pro-choice group Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) does not take kindly to the new abortion law passed in Texas. The Huffington Post reports that the CRR “filed an injunction on Friday against a new Texas law that prevents a woman from getting an abortion unless her doctor first gives her an ultrasound, describes the fetus to her in detail, and allows her to listen to the fetal heartbeat.”

CRR claims that the sonogram bill violates the First Amendment because it “forc[es] physicians to deliver politically-motivated communications to women, regardless of their wishes.” On the other hand, the author of the bill — State Rep. Sid Miller — says that the law is not meant to put undue stress on females to change their mind but to help them make an educated decision when considering abortion. Miller says:

“It would be pretty hard to interfere with the doctor/patient relationship when there’s not one. This bill is about allowing the doctor to explain the sonogram, which is not happening now. What we’re trying to do is give her all the information available so she can make an educated decision.”

President and CEO of CRR Nancy Northup feels quite the contrary. She says:

“It’s a wholly inappropriate law. Doctors are supposed to provide care that is wanted and consented to by their patients, and this forces the government right into the privacy of the doctor’s office to push an anti-choice agenda.”

The Huffington Post reports that so far this year “28 ultrasound bills have been filed in 14 different states…Arizona, Texas, and Florida have enacted sonogram laws [but]…CRR successfully blocked the implementation of a mandatory ultrasound law in Oklahoma last year.”  This gives CRR hope for success in stopping the sonogram law in Texas. Until then, the new bill requires that women have an ultrasound between 1 and 3 days prior to having an abortion, and any physicians who fail to follow the new legal protocols detailed above will lose their medical license and be charged with criminal misdemeanor.

Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer completing her degree in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, click here.

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