Pro Life Advocacy Day In Austin - February 10, 2011 - Senate Testimony - Dr Beverly Nuckols - Action Required!

Abby Johnson on the Texas Sonogram Bill

State Rep Geanie Morrison – Senator Dan Patrick

HR 201
Passes Senate Committee

Growing up Catholic … on the subject of premarital sex the answer was ‘not until you are married’. I find it sad that the generation of today finds it so easy to conceive a child out of wedlock only to decide to abort ‘it’. Statistics show that while unwed teen age pregnancies may be stabilizing, unwed mothers ages 20 and older are on the rise. It is inconceivable how a grown woman can decide to have a baby and then decide that the father of her child is not worthy of marriage. With all the complexities surrounding the rearing of a child, it makes common sense that two people are better than a single parent. Children having children is another unimaginable event. My age must be showing, as I am told that these things ‘happen’. So, I question that statement. What happened to parental supervision, self respect, and in the age of information and technology, shouldn’t everyone know how these things ‘happen’? A woman should be made aware of all her choices including abstinence. The unborn child should not be annihilated for the indiscretions of the mother or parents.


Registration Deirdre Cooper – Kathy Haigler – Joe Pojman

Dr. Beverly Nuckols and I travelled to Austin on February 10, 2011 for Pro Life Advocacy Day. The day was filled with speakers, information and training for those wanting to learn more about the Texas bills now presently being considered to help mothers decide whether to keep their unborn child or abort their own flesh and blood. Sounds cruel doesn’t it… it is. We were there for the purpose of learning and lobbying our state representatives about the Sonogram Bill. We heard from Texas Senator Dan Patrick on his Sonogram Bill SB 16 and State Representative Geanie Morrison on the companion bill HB 201.

Abby Johnson former Planned Parenthood manager was one of many speakers. She has the ability to draw you in with her words, allowing your mind to draw images of the atrocities she speaks of. She confessed to her audience that she had experienced two abortions so she was very familiar with the Planned Parenthood ‘procedure’. She stated that the surgeon when performing an abortion does not make any contact with the mother. He never introduces himself to the mother; he never says a word during the ‘procedure’, he basically does not care. She commented that she received more medical information on the removal of a mole than when she had her abortion. Abby told us that the number one question from Pro Choice people is ‘How many babies do the Pro Life people adopt?” She asked for a show of hands from the audience and to my surprise there were many more hands going up then I would have ever expected.

A group of us lead by Dr Nuckols visited Senator Jeff Wentworth’s Senate District 25 office in hopes of meeting with him and having him have a change of heart about the Sonogram Bill. He was not available and his legislative assistant stood while Dr Christopher Lisanti and Dr Nuckols addressed the importance of having SB 16 passed. Sitting and making the group feel ‘welcomed’ was not part of his perfunctory government job. He informed us that he did not know how Senator Wentworth would be voting but would pass the message to him. Dr. Lisanti gave a precise account of the need for a Sonogram Bill. You can read his summary below. From Senator Wentworth’s office, Dr Nuckols and I went to visit our State Representative Doug Miller, District 73. Representative Miller was cordial and listened patiently to our concerns about the passage of HR 201 and the SB 16. I feel confident that he will support the Pro Life bills.

Sonja Harris – Abby Johnson – Dr Beverly Nuckols – Cathie Adams – Pat Carlson

DR BEVERY NUCKOLS – Senate State Affairs Committee, her testimony on Senate Bill 16, February 9, 2011

On Wednesday, February 9, 2011, the Senate State Affairs Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 16. Video of the hearings are available on line.

Part 1 and Part 2 are under State Affairs February 9, 2011.

Part one
Part two

Senator Dan Patrick’s legislation would improve the 2003 law, the Woman’s Right to Know Act and introduce the requirement that the doctor who performs the abortion perform an ultrasound at least 24 hours before the abortion describe what he finds and offer the woman the opportunity to see and hear her unborn child.

Senator Leticia Van De Putte, a pharmacist and Democrat from Senate District 26 in San Antonio, opposes the Bill. She made a huge point that women would be captive audiences during the description of the Ultrasound. She graphically described the moments on the exam table, telling the mostly male State Affairs Committee that they couldn’t understand “having your bottom on the cold table” for the exam. Someone needs to ask her whether, if the ultrasound makes the woman feel that helpless, intimidated, and vulnerable, wouldn’t the actual procedure be much, much worse, since she would be naked except for a paper gown and an IV, and possibly sedated?

Unfortunately, we heard testimony that, at the abortionists clinics, the ultrasound (US) is only performed after a fee is paid, after the woman or girl is undressed, and in the prep or procedure room. Some who oppose the Bill told us that women are allowed to see the US, but we heard testimony from women who have had abortions and from a former clinic manager for Planned Parenthood that they were refused and one woman was even sedated so that she couldnt look at the US as she wished.

The Pediatrician/Adolescent Medicine doctor, who is the medical director of the Austin area Planned Parenthood, complained that the Bill would interfere in the physician-patient relationship. Dr. Mikail Love, an OB in private practice in Austin, and I both testified that the ultrasound would be an excellent tool for education. Dr. Love said that the Texas Medical Association, the American Medical Association, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists all encourage the doctor to be involved in a conversation with the patient, rather than to delegate the consent process to someone else. I explained that, in my opinion, SB 16 can only be said to interfere between the patient and doctor if the doctor has an aversion to explaining exactly what is going on in the woman or girls body and what he plans to do.

Although some opponents testified that the US is "unnecessary," we heard testimony that the ultrasound is standard of care prior to an abortion, and I‘m sure that it is. It aids in determining gestational age (after all, the abortionist is paid more for later abortions). It also helps in guiding the use of instruments, in order to avoid puncturing the uterus.

I testified that it would be bad medicine NOT to do the ultrasound for any introduction of instruments into the uterus or using medicines to perform an abortion. I explained that ultrasounds are, in practice, non invasive, small, portable, - about the size of my iPad - and in just about in every office, ER, and even in most pregnancy assistance centers.

I pointed out that the suggestion that women and girls are too fragile or would be wounded by the ultrasound is the worst sort of Patronization: the idea that the doctor knows best. Women have long fought for the right to meet our doctors fully clothed, to own our medical information in order to make our own decisions and direct our own care. Natural childbirth without sedation or restraints and breast feeding were subjected to obstruction due to the patronizing attitude that we are too fragile or incompetent to benefit from full, informed consent. In fact, we were victims of those docs prejudices and what we wanted sometimes cost more time and money - or put a glitch in their routine.

(I was even taught in Medical school that the opening to the womb, the cervix, is insensitive to pain and some instructors argued that I didnt have to learn to numb the area for a biopsy. Every woman who has delivered a child knows exactly what it feels like when the cervix is being stretched.)

This sort of patronization is the reason that Texas now has laws mandating specific, special informed consent for other permanent, irreversible procedures such as hysterectomy and sterilizations. Our State has similar informed consent processes for radiation therapy and electric shock therapy.

We arent discussing truly private acts. Our State of Texas has determined that we will regulate medical practices, medicines, and license doctors and abortion facilities. These regulations are very public, not private. These regulations are the business of every citizen of Texas.

We recently had an example of the worst unrestrained and unmonitored abortionists Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell and his staff in Pennsylvania have demonstrated what happens when abortion is considered "too sensitive" for regulation and compartmentalized, treated differently from every other type of medicine regulated by the State. Gosnell has been officially charged with the murder of one woman and of using scissors to cut the spinal cord of at least six live born term or near-term babies (grand jury testimony indicates hundreds were routinely killed after being born alive). 

I admitted that, yes, we would like every woman and girl to change her mind when she sees her baby and hears his heart beat. However, even if she goes through with the abortion, our regulations should ensure that she has complete informed consent. She should be treated as an independent adult who owns her medical information and makes her own decisions.

Dr Christopher Lisanti and Dr Nuckols addressing Senator Wentworth’s Legislative assistant concerning the Sonogram Bill SB16


Col (ret) Christopher J. Lisanti, M.D.
Chief of Body MRI at Brooke Army Medical Center; Medical Director of San Antonio Pregnancy Care Center; Member of the Medical Advisory Board for CareNet.

  1. Medical Standard of Care: The medical standard of care is that all patients are entitled to see their medical images. I told David (the staffer) that many people are very interested in their images particularly if there is a serious condition and especially if it requires a surgery. I told him that we have many women who are very abortion minded who still come and see us in our Crisis Pregnancy Center because they want to see what is going on inside of them. 
  2. Vast majority of abortionists are already doing ultrasounds: I quoted a 2003 study from the journal Contraception that indicated that over 80% of abortionists did ultrasounds for every abortion and that nearly all did them sometimes, and that was back in 2003 (see link article Table 2) I also stated that many abortionists are charging for both the abortion and the ultrasound as a package. Meaning you just cant get either an abortion or an ultrasound, but you will get both together and charged for both. David, then asked why we need this bill since just about all are getting ultrasounds, and that is when I came to #3 and #4. 
  3. Women are not provided the opportunity to see their ultrasounds. I stated that abortionists know what we know in the Pro-Life Crisis Pregnancy world that when women are given the additional information of what is going on inside of them that they frequently choose not to have an abortion, but rather to carry the baby and provide life. I told him that in our interviews with clients who have had abortions that they never get to see the ultrasound images, but that the imaging is hidden from their view. I gave the analogy of the "Wizard of Oz" behind the curtain. 
  4. Women need access to all the information. The bill is needed because women are being willfully kept from having access to the information from their own ultrasounds. This is a very paternalistic/maternalistic attitude on the part of the abortion providers. I also stated that the bill would not require women to look at the images, but they would be told up front that they are entitled to see the images if they wish. 
  5. Summary: Due to the past history of the abortion industry, we need this bill to ensure that women have access to all the information necessary when making this very important decision regarding another human life.

State Rep Doug Miller District 73

Ultrasound Sonogram - 12 Weeks

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