I was shocked to see that this morning’s printed version of my own hometown paper, the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, featured a front-page article, “Texas to appeal judge’s ruling,” stating that Texas’ ultrasound law would force women to “undergo an invasive vaginal ultrasound.” This is a lie. Perhaps the problem is that the author only quoted a lawyer for the New York firm that sued the State of Texas.
(The piece isn’t on the website, but it’s a reprint of the article by April Castro, available at the Houston Chronicle .)
As Federal Judge Sam Sparks wrote when denying the plaintiff’s claim that the law did not provide equal protection under the law because it only applied to women, “This legitimate interest obviously justifies “singling out” abortion providers and the patients thereof, because they pose a serious potential risk to “the life of the fetus that may become a child.”’
The State of Texas regulates physicians, not patients and HB 15 is a set of conditions that a physician must meet before performing abortions. The Supreme Court has acknowledged (along with other thinking human beings) that States (We the People, the rest of us) have a legitimate interest in promoting the life and health of both the woman and her unborn child and in protecting them from fraud and coercion. Nothing in the wording of the law would force anyone to undergo an “invasive vaginal ultrasound.”
Regardless of the oft-repeated claim that an ultrasound is not medically necessary, it is standard of care prior to all abortions. The website of one of the plaintiffs, Alan Braid, MD’s Reproductive Services of San Antonio, informs potential patients that an ultrasound is included in the abortion fee and “to determine the length of your pregnancy.” It is also standard of care to use the Ultrasound to guide instruments being introduced into the vagina and uterus.
Sparks objected to the mandate that physicians must describe any cardiac activity or development of limbs and internal organs. This is medical information that belongs to the woman, not ideology.
Sparks also claimed that the State intends to “brand” women by having them sign an informed consent paper and the inclusion of that paper in what he called “semi-private, at best” medical records. He is afraid that the record might be used in the future in lawsuits against the doctor, ignoring the fact that this would only happen if the woman who owns the medical information is the one suing the doctor.
(Edited for better sentences, 10:15 AM. BBN)