NOTE: This is an update to fabulous Feminists For Choice blogger Maureen’s post. You can read it here.
I’m sure you read the horrific news coming out of Texas over the last few months. Our governor (and GOP presidential candidate) Rick Perry signed a bill requiring women seeking abortions to view a sonogram of their fetus. And that’s not even the bad part – these women would be forced to watch the sonogram with their physician describing the images to them and listen to an audio of the fetus’ heartbeat.
Yeah. Pretty terrible stuff, right? Luckily for Texas women (and children) though, the Texas Independent has reported that U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks has blocked the bill and struck down 2 of its more egregious provisions. In response to a petition from the Center for Reproductive Rights petition, Judge Sparks found that provisions of the bill violated the free speech rights of both patient and physician.
Most troubling to Sparks, Texas Independent reports, is the requirement for women who have been raped to sign a document stating so. Mentioned in the ruling were the underlying ideological motivations for forcing physicians to perform these sonograms and having patients sign this document. “It is difficult to avoid the troubling conclusion,” Sparks writes, “the Texas Legislature either wants to permanently brand women who choose to get abortions, or views these certifications as potential evidence to be used against physicians and women.”
My favorite part of the opinion, though, is this neat little zinger: “It is ironic that many of the same people who zealously defend the state’s righteous duty to become intimately involved in a woman’s decision to get an abortion are also positively scandalized at the government’s gross overreaching in the area of health care.”
Y’ALL. Best news of the last 9 months? Reproductive rights have taken a battering this year and it’s extremely refreshing to see some light at the end of this tunnel. But let’s not ignore the fact that the man who is currently sitting at the top of the Republican primary field (motley crew of ignorance that it is) declared this bill “emergency legislation” and made it the business of a legislative special session. Rick Perry is going to swagger his ignorant ass to the nomination, and possibly to the White House. Goddess help us.
Amy is a social media strategist living in Dallas, Texas. She likes music, trashy TV, and ladybiz. tweet: @aemccarthy