Last month I wrote about the new Texas sonogram law and the Center for Reproductive Rights’ lawsuit challenging it. Since then, there have been updates, which brings me to today’s post!
This past Wednesday, the CRR’s lawsuit saw its first hearing at a U.S. District Court in Austin. According to the Houston Chronicle, the State of Texas urged the judge (who was appointed to the bench by George H.W. Bush, by the way) not to throw out the entire law, even if he finds parts of it unconstitutional:
“The severability clause cannot be ignored and must be applied,” Assistant Texas Attorney General Erika Kane told the judge.
The legislation states that if any provision in the law is found by a court to be invalid, the remainder may not be affected.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, of Austin, offered little indication how he will rule in a request for an injunction to stop Texas from implementing the new law requiring doctors to provide images of a fetus and sounds of a heartbeat before providing an abortion.
The CRR, on the other hand, argues that the forced sonograms hijacks the doctor-patient relationship and is merely another tool to impose the anti-choice agenda on women.
Naturally, Sen. Dan Patrick (R-Houston), who introduced the bill — which goes into effect on Sept. 1 and applies to abortions starting Oct. 1 — boasted of his pride in passing it. He told the Austin-American Statesman, “I am proud to have passed this important bill that ensures women have as much information available to them as possible before making this life-altering decision.” Oh, and the best part is his assertion that “Pro-abortion advocates have historically used activist courts to impose their agenda.”
Let’s break that down, shall we? First of all, I’m fairly certain that women seeking abortions understand what is involved in that decision. They understand that a) they are pregnant and b) desire not to be or for medical reasons, can not be. That is all the information they need to have. Women are not children; we are intelligent human beings capable of making our own “life-altering decisions” without some kindly (note the snark) patriarchal institution guiding our every move. But perhaps that is what is so scary to these anti-choice, anti-women right wingers. After all, if women are given free range over our bodies and futures, there’s a much bigger chance of the patriarchy having the proverbial rug pulled from under its feet. Also, if this is truly about providing women with information, why don’t we start with giving them medically accurate, comprehensive sexual education and access to contraception so we can avoid unwanted pregnancies in the first place?
Second of all, wow, if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black! The pro-choice movement resorts to courts not to force an agenda, but rather to uphold the ground that we have legally obtained (ahem, Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, etc.).
Be sure to do your part to help CRR fight this unconstitutional and patronizing legislation. Visit their site, Trust Texas Women, and take action!