This week a judge in Texas blocked parts of a new abortion law that requires women to receive sonograms, including trans vaginal sonograms, before an abortion and for physicians to provide a description of the sonogram written by Texas state politicians. As I understand it, the sonograms themselves are not blocked, but the judge said that for the legislature to mandate to a physician what to say to his patients about anything is a violation of free speech rights.
The judge also said that a woman can’t be compelled to look at the sonogram or read the propaganda leaflets the state wants provided to her. As I understand it, this reverses one part of the actual law that says women may refuse to listen to the description of the sonogram only under some circumstances.
However, to receive the privilege of not hearing the propaganda, she would have had to sign an affidavit declaring that she is a victim or rape or incest, or a minor receiving an abortion without her parents’ knowledge but with permission of a court, or that the fetus has an irreversible medical abnormality. The law doesn’t make clear how public those affidavits would have been. I’m also not sure who’s going to pay for all those sonograms.
This law was high on the agenda of Gov. Rick Perry, the current front runner for the Republican nomination. And I suppose I’ll have to change this photo from Holsteins to Longhorns.
In better news, NPR reports that the Obama justice department is more aggressively prosecuting abortion protesters who block access to clinics.