Avert Your Eyes

Perry declares emergency for ultrasounds before abortion

No doubt there are many serious, pressing issues facing the Texas Legislature this session. Is passing an ultrasound-before-abortion bill one of them? According to Gov. Rick Perry, it definitely is: Speaking before the 2011 Texas Rally for Life last weekend, Perry granted the ultrasound issue "emergency" status, allowing lawmakers to take it up within the session's first 30 days. It's hard to see how the issue – a perennial favorite among the fetus-obsessed at the Capitol – is actually an emergency. But Perry says there's not a minute to lose. "When someone has all the information, the right choice – the choice of life – becomes clear," he said. "Now our Legislature can take fast action on this important bill, because we all know when it comes to saving lives, every second counts."

As it stands, most abortion providers actually do require an ultrasound prior to performing an abortion. The problem that many women's health advocates have is a more principled one: The bills currently filed – House Bill 325 by Rep. Todd Smith, R-Euless, and Senate Bill 130 by Houston GOP Sen. Dan Patrick – would require that a doctor show the fetal image to the woman (she may avert her eyes) while giving a detailed explanation of fetal development and playing for her the fetal heartbeat. In short, the proposed law is invasive and, frankly, insensitive – another of many legislative proposals over the years presuming that women seeking abortion do not take the decision seriously but are nonetheless perfectly fit to rear children. Now there's an issue in serious need of a solution.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More abortion
After a Month of Chaos, Abortion Care Returns to Texas
After a Month of Chaos, Abortion Care Returns to Texas
Clinics, patients, and the law get put through the ringer over care

Mary Tuma, May 1, 2020

Lege Lines: Dem Lawmakers Boycott Anti-Abortion Bill Hearing
Lege Lines: Dem Lawmakers Boycott Anti-Abortion Bill Hearing
Brass ovaries vs. HB 16, and other battle lines drawn at the Capitol

Michael King, March 29, 2019

More by Jordan Smith
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
'Chrome Underground' Goes Classic Car Hunting
Motoreum's Yusuf & Antonio talk about the biz and their reality TV debut

May 22, 2014

APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
APD Brass Shifts Up, Down, Across
Musical chairs at Downtown HQ

May 9, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

abortion, Rick Perry, Texas Rally for Life, Dan Patrick, Todd Smith

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle