Texas Senate Republicans Pass Sonogram Bill

Republican Party of Texas - In an important vote for pro-life values, the Republican-controlled Texas Senate passed Senate Bill 16 on Thursday afternoon. The legislation requires that doctors must perform a sonogram at least two hours before an abortion and has additional language instructing doctors to describe the sonogram and details of the baby to the mother. SB 16 passed by a vote of 21- 10 with 18 Republican legislators voting for the bill. We thank our Senators for taking leadership for the protection of life and a woman's right to be fully informed!

RPT State Chairman Steve Munisteri praised the Senate for the vote, stating "I applaud our Texas Senators for passing the Sonogram Bill so quickly. Along with Voter ID, our Senators have been very responsive at passing these priority items - two of our RPT legislative priorites for the session. I wish to recognize and congratulate Senator Dan Patrick and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for their leadership on this bill and also wish to thank Governor Rick Perry for naming this as an emergency item to allow the Senate to consider it early in the session."

The Sonogram bill now moves on to the Texas House of Representatives where our Republican super-majority is expected to approve the measure with little delay. However, we still encourage all Texans who are concerned about the bill to contact their state representatives and urge them to support the passage of this legislation.

Click here to read the bill.

Comments

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Oops! Looks like you've already forgotten the election. A conservative voice and vote would not have increased costs and replaced Obamacare with Perrycare. Where are the jobs in this?
You've embarrased conservatism.

The previous poster is unaware that the sonograms are standard of care for any procedure that introduces sharp, hard instruments into the uterus. Furthermore, the AMA, the TMA, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists all agree that the physician should conduct a conversation with each patient about procedures such as abortions.  The ultrasound is readily available, and relatively non-invasive and serves as an excellent tool for education and giving structure to that conversation.

In common practice, two ultrasounds are normally conducted, (1) one prior to the abortion itself to estimate the age of the baby (and thus, how much the woman is charged for the actual abortion) and (2) the second to guide the abortionist's instruments (to prevent puncturing the uterine wall, the bowels and the bladder) and to prove that the abortion is complete (so much neater than the old fashioned way of reassembling the body) in a pan.

Unfortunately, we heard quite a bit of testimony at the Senate State Affairs Committee meeting on February 9th to the effect that when ultrasounds are done for abortion, the sound is turned off, the picture is hidden or turned away from the woman or girl's field of view, and those who do ask to see the ultrasound are refused. There is rarely any face to face contact, much less conversation between the abortionist and his patients.

Since society has already determined that it's wise to regulate physicians and medicine, there is no conflict between conservatism and SB 16. On the contrary, SB 16 and House Bill 201 protects Texas women conservatively, in agreement with the 2500-year admonition to "First, do no harm" and the Declaration of Independence's inalienable right to life.

Patrick touted the bill as a move to ensure informed consent between the doctor and the patient. He said that the average of age of women getting abortions is 22 and it was likely they did not even know what a sonogram was.

Dr. Suzanne Poppema, a former board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, discounted the idea that this legislation is giving women information they need when going in for an abortion.

“I never once met a woman who didn’t understand what was happening,” she said. “Women are actually intelligent, moral agents and are actually capable of making decisions on their own.”

While noting that she used sonograms before performing every abortion, Poppema said they are not always necessary and should not be required unless there is a medical reason. “There is no evidence that medical ultrasounds are required for doing abortions. As physicians, we work really hard not to do medical tests unless there is a medical benefit.”

She compared requiring that doctors perform and illustrate a sonogram before every abortion to a cardiologist being required to perform and illustrate an angiogram before every procedure, whether necessary or not. “It’s just a bizarre incursion in the practice of medicine,” she said.

As to the provision that victims of rape and incest would not be subjected to the sonogram description, Poppema said it was illogical: “It implies that all women know, but good women don’t have to have that abuse. The lack of philosophical disconnect is obvious. [The lawmakers] hope women will change their minds

Only the elimination of all conservative Christians will allow all Americans to be free and the world to no longer have to live in fear of the U.S.A.'s imperialist, terrorist holy war. The conservative ideology has never helped mankind in any way, it has not only never helped mankind in anyway, it has oppressed, murdered, raped and killed all those in it's way to gain power. History shows us this. Fact shows us this. James Madison, the "Father of the U.S. Constitution", along with many founders of this country, regardless of their religious or non-religious affiliations, knew keeping politics and religion separate not only preserves each, but helps them flourish: "The number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church and the State."

"Dr. Suzanne Poppema, a former board chair of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health?" That's not an unbiased source!
"She compared requiring that doctors perform and illustrate a sonogram before every abortion to a cardiologist being required to perform and illustrate an angiogram before every procedure. . ."

Don't be ridiculous. I, too, am a Family Physician. I would hope that my fellow Family Physician, Dr. Poppema, understands the difference between invasive, irreversible procedures and those that do not require IV's and breaking the skin. An angiogram is invasive, a sonogram is not.

 "Every procedure" in cardiology that involves penetration of the skin will require at least a prior EKG, blood work for cardiac enzymes, or an echocardiogram -- the heart sonogram. Even an office stress test includes the 12 lead EKG, first.

There are special, specific informed consent regulations in Texas for hysterectomies, sterilization, radiotherapy and electric shock therapy.

In paragraph 2, you have misstated the facts: An ultrasound is used to determine the size and orientation of the fetus, not "the age of the baby."  Before birth (or delivery by cesarean section), a fetus is not a baby anymore than it is a senior citizen or a baseball player, for that matter.  Your suggestion that abortion providers have some kind of sliding scale based on "the age of the baby" is fallacious and libelous.

Later in that same paragraph, you use the pejorative term "abortionist" when referring to physicians who perform a legal medical procedure.  Such invective coming from a medical doctor is shameful. 

At the end of the day, your objections to family planning, birth control, and abortion, come from your religious beliefs, which may or may not be shared by other women, but forcing your religious dogma on others is incompatible with our Consititution.  Furthermore, supporting a big government intrusion into the personal, medical decisions of its citizens is the antithesis of conservatism.  And finally, the suggestion that women can't be trusted to make their own decisions is patronizing at best, and truly offensive.

Shame on you, doctor.  You're a disgrace to your profession.

Semantics and jargon: The medical terms are neonate, fetus, and embryo. "Baby" is the common term for all three. All three stages are individuals under Texas state law.

It is a fact that abortions cost more after 11 to 12 weeks. http://www.costhelper.com/cost/health/abortion.html

If abortion is cool with you (more common language usage, there), why is "abortionist" pejorative? Now, if I called all abortionists "Gosnells," http://www.phila.gov/districtattorney/PDFs/GrandJuryWomensMedical.pdf (warning: graphic and horrifying) that would be pejorative.

Are you disturbed by the informed consent process for hysterectomies, sterilization, electric shock therapy or radiation therapy? Do you understand the history behind these? Do you work this hard to oppose them, or do you only expend your energy when it comes to abortion?

Come now, Doctor, you selected your words, and you selected them for their evocative power.  By calling a fetus a baby, you have made a moral, not medical, judgement.  We both know that "baby" is not a common term for a fetus.  Moreover, even if it was, juxteposing the "common" term was done to bolster your pseudo-moralistic argument. 

Likewise, "abortionist" is not a medical term, and no physician has ever referred to him/herself as such.  Historically, "abortionist" is akin to "ambulance chaser" in the legal profession and is used to disparage doctors who perform legal services to female citizens who have reached the age of majority (18 years old in Texas).  Otherwise, we would have doctors called "suturists" and "amputationists."  You seem very proud of your "MD" but deny that respect to others of your profession.  Hubris and hypocricy.

"Informed consent" in this context is a smoke-screen -- an ungainly and cowardly obfuscation of your anti-choice zeal.  Sharia Law (which Rightists seem very concerned about) and Biblical Law are each incompatible with the U.S. Constitution, and since your definition of what constitutes a human being is based upon your religious beliefs (yes, I did my research on you), hiding behind your MD reveals your lack of character. 

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