On May 20, 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed into law an intrusive and patronizing bill that will prevent a woman from getting an abortion unless she first has an ultrasound and listens to her doctor describe the image in detail—even if she says NO.
On June 13, 2011, the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit to put a stop to the law. Visit our special campaign website to get involved at www.TrustTexasWomen.com >,
Under the new law, a woman seeking an abortion must not only first get an ultrasound, but she will be required to be shown the ultrasound image and listen to her doctor describe the image in detail. The bill also calls for a 24-hour waiting period between the ultrasound and the abortion, except for women who live at least 100 miles from an abortion provider.
The Center argues that the law has no medical purpose and runs contrary to informed consent standards and basic principles of medical ethics. The law rests on a number of faulty and demeaning premises about women by discounting a woman’s ability to make health decisions about her own life. In addition, the law imposes vague requirements in violation of abortion providers’ right to due process and violates the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, potentially damaging it by compelling doctors to deliver unwanted speech.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was a successful legal strategy. Cases can take years to litigate, but the Center is in it for the long haul and is dedicated to protecting the rights of women in Texas. We depend on the partnership of supporters like you to keep the momentum going throughout the life of a case. Sign-up for Team Texas today and start spreading the word that YOU Trust Texas Women!
- WE: Fight in the court to overturn Texas’s invasive, sexist ultrasound law.
- YOU: Help build a critical mass of supporters in Texas to stand up and fight this law.
- TOGETHER: Establish a precedent for the rest of the country—there is a real price to be paid when politicians come between a woman and her private medical decisions.
From a bill to a law…
The House introduced a bill on February 11, 2011 to force women to make two trips to the abortion facility, view and hear a description of the fetal images from a mandatory ultrasound on the first visit, and then wait 24 hours before obtaining her procedure. The Texas Senate had introduced its own less restrictive mandatory ultrasound bill a month earlier.
The Texas legislature passed House Bill 15 on May 7, 2011. The law takes effect on September 1, 2011, with compliance by providers starting October 1, 2011.
Gov. Rick Perry declared this bill an “emergency item”[i] during the legislative session in an effort to bypass procedural hurdles. He ceremonially signed the bill into law on May 20, 2011 flanked by anti-choice groups such as the Texans for Life Coalition. Texas now joins Oklahoma in having the most extreme ultrasound restrictions in the country.
[i] Gov. Perry Adds Sonogram Requirement to Emergency Items for Legislative Session, http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/15612/