New Texas Pre-abortion Law Needs Balance

It should avail both views of giving birth for women who have unwanted pregnancies.

EL PASO, Texas — A new Texas law is waiting to go into effect after it is signed by Governor Perry that will require doctors to perform a sonogram at least 24 hours before a woman gets an abortion. Once the doctor conducts the sonogram the woman are at the very least mandated to listen to the physician “describe what the sonogram shows, including the existence of legs, arms and internal organs.”

The opposition says this instills guilt into women and may force them to have an unwanted child but supporters like Dolores Sambrano, of west El Paso. says it is intended to prevent women from making “rash decisions”

“I don’t think it forces them into having children, but it definitely makes them think about it rather than making a decision and then just quickly going into it, it gives them a little more time for it to sink in,” said Dolores Sambrano, of west El Paso.

“Women are going to do what they are going to do,” Sambrano says, “but at least it gives somebody a last chance to think it over, so it’s probably a good thing,” she said.”   SOURCE (paraphrased) 

Is this not a clear example of government over-reach; something conservatives Tea Party types rail against in this country?  How much different is this from what many on the right opposed about the public mandate with the health care reform bill?  Either way it looks like the nanny state dictating private behavior.

Why is a moral issue seen as legitimate territory by the religious right where governments should intervene?  Shouldn’t they be as concerned when it comes to the health and safety of its citizens from toxic pollutants being emitted into our air and water instead of fighting a government oversight agency (the EPA) to reduce these health risks?

I don’t berate anti-abortion people who feel as they do because there may indeed be those women who don’t think their decisions out clearly before seeking an abortion.  But I do berate them for looking too dismissively at the conditions why some women honestly feel they have a right to end an unwanted pregnancy.


The 14, 15 or 16-year old student who was overcome by her more aggressive boyfriend, or worse, taken advantage of by a trusting uncle or brother is now forced to alter her young life to meet the needs of a child she wasn’t ready for.  Instead of finding ways to prevent unwanted pregnancies, so-called pro-life advocates are working to eliminate existing rights for women who seek legitimate abortions.

The U.S. House recently passed the redundant HR3 legislation that reiterates what’s already on the books about providing no federal funding for abortions.  They ran on the deficit and job creation last fall but so far have generated nothing on job creation while proposing a budget plan the seeks to put the burden on the elderly and low-income families.  While large corporations have been provided the means through tax loopholes to pay no taxes, low-income women and young girls are being victimized by the GOP for terminating pregnancies they are ill-prepared to handle.

Lacking a Balanced Perspective

The anti-abortion crowd are always ready to cite case studies of those women who changed their mind at the last moment to terminate their pregnancy, expressing gratitude and satisfaction for choosing life.  I suspect most of these are honest testimonials.  Yet there are never any examples of those young women pressured to go full term with the pregnancies and how it negatively affected not only their lives but the unwanted child they were pressured into bringing into society.  There has to be an equal or greater amount of these stories and yet the silence regarding such women is all to apparent.

There is also the hypocrisy of “pro-lifers” who are guilty of violating their own beliefs about abortions because they convince themselves that their unwanted pregnancies are unique.

In the spring of 2000, Joyce Arthur with the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada collected numerous anecdotes directly from abortion doctors and other clinic staff in North America, Australia, and Europe that presented stories in the providers’ own words about women who would stand on anti-abortion picket lines the day after attending that very abortion clinic to terminate their own unwanted pregnancy.  Two such stories expose the twisted mindset of many who punish women for decisions they make about their lives when faced with an unwanted pregnancy:

“I have done several abortions on women who have regularly picketed my clinics, including a 16 year old schoolgirl who came back to picket the day after her abortion, about three years ago. During her whole stay at the clinic, we felt that she was not quite right, but there were no real warning bells. She insisted that the abortion was her idea and assured us that all was OK. She went through the procedure very smoothly and was discharged with no problems. A quite routine operation. Next morning she was with her mother and several school mates in front of the clinic with the usual anti posters and chants. It appears that she got the abortion she needed and still displayed the appropriate anti views expected of her by her parents, teachers, and peers.” (Physician, Australia)

“I’ve had several cases over the years in which the anti-abortion patient had rationalized in one way or another that her case was the only exception, but the one that really made an impression was the college senior who was the president of her campus Right-to-Life organization, meaning that she had worked very hard in that organization for several years. As I was completing her procedure, I asked what she planned to do about her high office in the RTL organization. Her response was a wide-eyed, ‘You’re not going to tell them, are you!?’ When assured that I was not, she breathed a sigh of relief, explaining how important that position was to her and how she wouldn’t want this to interfere with it.” (Physician, Texas)   SOURCE

You won’t hear about such women from El Paso Representative Dolores Sambrano or any other legislator that supported this bill, including Governor Perry.  These stories are testimony to the fact that the stress of having an unplanned pregnancy overwhelms young women who have laid out their futures that didn’t include motherhood at an early age.  Yet thanks to many anti-abortion zealots this stress will be increased as women now are forced to listen to information intended to make them feel guilty about their condition.

The belief put out there by the likes of Rep. Sambrano that has forced this legislation onto Texas women is an age-old one that claims that all, “or a large percentage of, women who have abortions of their own free choice will have subsequent serious psychological/emotional problems directly caused by the abortions”.  Yet one abortion provider (who clearly wishes to remain anonymous) informs us that “Extensive surveys and objective psychological studies have firmly established that the vast majority of women who have had abortions adjust well and absolutely do not subsequently suffer significant psychological or emotional problems”.   SOURCE

I offer the comments by Joyce Arthur and the anonymous doctor not as proof positive that anti-abortion activist are wrong in their take on this critical issue but that their view is only part of the narrative that too often gets heard over those other legitimate views

Solomonesque Action Required

People have a right to address how their tax dollars are spent but do we always have to be subjected to the rule of a majority?  Surely we have the capacity to look at each social policy and weigh its pros and cons and allow room for those who favor one over another to see some of their tax money go to those policies they support.  Divide the revenue proportionately to the vote in legislative bodies or along public poll numbers that reflect the will of the people.  I don’t always like what the majority chooses to spend my tax money on but neither do I like that they get to decide what it CAN’T be spent on.

The majority are not always on the right side of history and when it comes to actual preferences most within majorities simply want to “live and let live” and not impose their will on others.  But not political and religious extremists like the majority in our state legislature.  These people panic and draw unfounded  conclusions that some how traditional ways of life are threatened if you make room for non-traditional ones.  This suggests that “traditional” values are only as strong as those who favor them yet fear that others who disagree with them might alter their views.

The least the government over-reachers can do to balance out this invasion of privacy into the lives of often vulnerable and naive women is to point out what the consequences are if they DO choose to have the child.

These women, after being forced to watch a sonogram of their unborn embryo, should then be queried as to whether they understand and are willing to give most of their young lives to nurture these children and make them socially responsible to enter into society.  Do they understand that unless they have wealthy parents or have inherited a large some of money that they must now put their education on hold and find work to feed, clothe and house this new baby.  Are women who have unwanted pregnancies willing to devote long hours, large portions of a meager income and do everything in their power to raise responsible children after guiltily choosing life for their embryo?

I suspect that this perspective will not be part of any legislation pushed by the religious right because then that “rash decision” Rep. Sambrano was so concerned about will now have a logical element to it that may have negative consequences for hers and other’s subjective efforts to prevent abortions.


6 responses to “New Texas Pre-abortion Law Needs Balance

  1. This anti-abortion stuff makes my blood boil. I know of few women who had abortions without heartache. It is not an easy decision and to reinforce that trauma with antiquated and anti-woman rules that make her have to hear about the fetus before the abortion is nothing short of torture. How come the party that wants the government to stay out of bug business is so ready to have the government interfering in our private lives?

  2. I’m so Daft, lb, I thought HR3 was referring to the new 2011 HUMMER…..

    Just kidding. This was a very good post, you never cease to keep me informed.
    Keep it up.

  3. As always I enjoy reading your blog and agree with your views. Next week, I will visit my son in Austin. He has lived there 10 years and his political views are reflected by the crazies around him. I will be searching, in vain I suppose, for a voice of sanity from the left. Mary in Missouri

  4. The story of a RTL’er having an abortion and then picketing the next day? Wow. That is just bizarre-o.

    The government over-reachers in this movement will never share the reality of raising a child because it can reaffirm their decision to have an abortion.

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