Guest Author - Suzanne Gregory
The bullying of women and choice continues with more anti abortion legislation. Texas has become the first state to have the strictest of laws regarding ultrasounds before abortion.
On hold since October of 2011 while it cleared legal hurdles, the sonogram law was upheld by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks recently and has already gone into effect. While forced to allow the law, Judge Sparks theorizes the law violates the First Amendment rights of physicians.
Doctors had sued to block the law citing that the law forces them to perform a procedure that is not medically necessary or that women don稚 wish to have.
Texas Department of State Health Services has posted guidelines for abortion providers. Any abortion providers that fail to comply with the new guidelines face penalties of up to $1,000 per violation per day. The providers will be subject to inspections to insure the new rules are followed. Doctors who fail to comply with the law could lose their medical license, be charged with a misdemeanor and face fines of up to $10,000.
Sadly, the biggest toll will be on the women themselves.
The new guidelines are:
- At least 24 hours before performing an abortion, doctors must show the woman the sonogram image. The patient has the option of looking away from the screen.
- While showing the sonogram image the doctor must describe to the patient the fetuses features and stages of development.
- Doctors must also play the fetal heartbeat aloud to the patient.
Exceptions to the new guidelines include pregnancies involving,
- Fetal abnormalities
- Women who have to travel long distances to see a doctor.
Clearly the law is designed to either traumatize women who go through with having an abortion or dissuade women who were already decidedly having abortion, away from that decision.
It is very disheartening to me. I understand that the anti choice side strives towards saving the lives of fetuses. But what about the quality of life of women already born? How can you sleep at night knowing that a law you pushed for is harmful to women? There is absolutely no reason to put a woman through a sonogram when she has decided to have an abortion.
The anti choice side is disguising the real purpose of this bill by saying it gives women all the information they need to make an informed decision. All they are really doing is putting their nose in other women痴 private business and muddying the waters of an already very difficult decision.
I知 tired of hearing about the life of the fetus, with no regard for the life of women. I知 tired of the people who are against abortion, being the same people against birth control, health insurance, and welfare. I知 tired of men, deciding for women, and I知 tired of one view or one life being more important than another. I知 tired of the war against women.
Despite my being tired, I will fight harder than ever to protect the rights of women. They need it now, more than ever.