Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Let’s Get The Facts Straight On The Texas House Sonogram Bill

Much misinformation has been reported regarding the sonogram bill recently passed by the Texas House. Let’s take a look at the real facts.

Fact Number One: No woman will be forced to look at her sonogram nor to listen to her baby’s heartbeat. Rather, these will be made available for her if she wishes. Currently, nearly every abortion is preceded by a sonogram in order to determine the gestational age of the baby, since price is based upon that age. Women deserve the same full knowledge about an abortion as would be given for any other medical procedure.

Fact Number Two: Some claim that a sonogram is “invasive and medically unnecessary.”  Virtually any medical diagnostic procedure is invasive to some extent, and the sonogram IS necessary in order to accurately assess the stage of the pregnancy, which type of procedure will be done and sometimes actually to guide the doctor in performing the abortion.

Fact Number Three: In reality, an abortion facility’s sonogram is virtually never shown to or discussed with the woman. In fact, she normally never even meets the doctor who will be doing the procedure, as she will be sedated when the gowned, masked abortionist enters the room and completes his task without even speaking to her.

What other medical procedure would leave the patient so uninformed and de-personalized? What if she has questions? What if she isn’t sure about her choice? Even a simple wart isn’t removed without fully informed consent following a consultation with the surgeon. So why should we expect a woman to lose that fully-informed status when she is seeking to end a pregnancy? She is entitled to know the potential dangers in the procedure, to ask questions about how she will feel afterwards, both physically and emotionally, and then given adequate time to evaluate the information she’s been provided.

Fact Number Four: The 24-hour waiting period has caused some consternation among those who are eager for women to be assessed, “informed” by a non-physician, sedated and then terminate their pregnancies all on the same day. Short of an emergency situation, what other medical procedure would be so rushed? Indeed, there usually are several days, even weeks, between the time of the diagnosis, discussion of options, informed consent to the selected procedure and the actual medical procedure itself.

So what’s the rush? What’s the problem with empowering the patient by fully informing her of her condition and how that condition will be changed from pregnant to non-pregnant? Of what are the pro-choice advocates so afraid?

Perhaps it’s that the choice a fully-informed woman might make would be less profitable for the abortion providers.

Fact Number Five: Abortion is big dollar medicine. The nearly 85,000 Texas abortions performed annually gross upwards of $43 million.  In her book UnPLANNED,  Abby Johnson, former director of the Bryan Planned Parenthood clinic, reports that their clinics throughout the state were pushed hard to improve their bottom lines by “selling” more abortions, as opposed to dispensing contraceptives. So if a prospective client sees a sonogram and realizes that it’s not just a “pregnancy” or a “clump of cells,” she might make a different choice than abortion. And that affects the bottom line. The old adage is often true: Follow the money. Could that be the real reason that so much misinformation is being thrown out to confuse the public?

Fact Number Six: This proposed legislation will not restrict the choices women have regarding their pregnancies but instead will empower them with more complete information so that they truly will have an informed consent in exercising their “right to choose.”


Dianne Edmondson
Executive Director – Republican National Coalition for Life
3008 Clay Trail
Corinth, TX 76210
940/498-2407 (o)  940/391-6699 (c)

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