January 11, 2012
A Spectacular Victory for the Pro-Life Cause!
Tuesday, the 5th Circuit Court upheld Texas’ “sonogram bill,” widely believed to be one of the strongest pro-life measures in the country. “This is perhaps the finest court decision ever for patients and the integrity of the medical profession,” observed Andrew Schlafly, General Counsel of The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons.
Last May, Texas passed the Woman’s Right to Know Act in its overwhelmingly Republican legislature. This law was touted as being one of the strongest in the nation for the cause of life and also for the protection of women as it helps ensure that women will be fully informed before agreeing to an abortion, that there be a personal meeting with the abortionist and, in most cases, a 24-hour waiting period following that meeting before the abortion is committed.
Currently, it is standard for abortion providers to perform sonograms on patients, but many — if not most — do not show those sonograms to the women. According to the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons (AAPS), “Such information should not be withheld from patients in the delivery of medical care. Many women change their mind about abortion if they see their sonogram before they consent to the operation, and no one should be hiding information from a patient in order to obtain consent for a procedure that she may later regret.”
Former Planned Parenthood personnel, such as Abby Johnson, have predicted that passing such as law will not only provide women with the full spectrum of information they need before undertaking this medical procedure, but that it also will drastically reduce the number of abortions as women see that their unborn child is exactly that — a child, not a “mass of cells and tissue” as many pro-choice advocates declare.
Not surprisingly, suits were filed almost immediately after the bill’s passage, and Texas’ well-respected Attorney General Greg Abbott prepared to defend the legislation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
AAPS filed an amicus brief in this case along with one of its Texas members, urging the Fifth Circuit to vacate a preliminary injunction from a lower court that had blocked enforcement of the sonogram law to the detriment of hundreds of women who have abortions each day there. “There is no legitimate right to deny patients informed consent, and no injunction should remain in place to perpetuate such a denial,” wrote the AAPS, adding that “the preliminary injunction violates the right of the people to protect themselves against procedures performed without informed consent.”
The Fifth Circuit agreed and so held. It ended the injunction and allowed the sonogram law to be enforced as fully intended. You can read the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court’s entire opinion here.
RNC for Life congratulates Atty. Gen. Abbott, the AAPS and others who filed amicus briefs, and the stalwart pro-life TX legislators who stood up to enormous pressure and passed this strong bill. Both Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst are also to be commended for their putting this bill on the “fast track” in the legislative session.
RNC for Life was an influential part of the pro-life coalition which led the grassroots lobbying efforts to pass this historic bill and your generous contributions are what enable us to help pass this kind of much-needed legislation. Could you make a contribution now to ensure that we can continue to be a strong voice for the unborn in the state legislatures? Your help is always so much appreciated!