Texas Pro-Life Advocates Urge Support to Let Women See Pre-Abortion Ultrasound
by Steven Ertelt
May 21, 2009
Austin, TX (LifeNews.com) — Texas pro-life advocates are working overtime to drum up last-minute support for a bill that helps women considering an abortion but allowing them a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn child beforehand. When used in pregnancy centers, ultrasounds convince many mothers to seek alternatives.
As of Wednesday, only 11 days remain in the 81st session of the Texas legislature and, thus far, no pro-life bills have been completely approved by lawmakers.
Although the state Senate approved Senate Bill 182, to make Texas the seventeenth state to allow women to see a pre-abortion ultrasound, the bill has stalled in the House.
"Our bills have moved but have been stalled at every step," Texas Right to Life explains in a new email to LifeNews.com. "Over two years of planning and prepping legislators to defend life with measures that would spare thousands of unborn children and their mothers from abortion could all be for naught if the Legislature does not act now."
Several other leading state pro-life groups are also alerting their supporters to ask that the state House debate and vote on SB 182 in its last several days, but they aren’t the only ones hoping for that chance.
Until then, they are hoping to insert pro-life language into other legislation.
"Many pro-life legislators are disappointed with the lack of action on restoring the sanctity of life in Texas," Right to Life adds. "These members are watching for any opportunity to add pro-life amendments to other bills that reach the House floor."
"Our team is fielding several calls a day from members sitting at their desks on the House floor asking for amendment language on various pro-life issues," Right to Life explained. "Just this week, we’ve written over a dozen amendments for bills dealing with tangential (but germane) health and education issues."
Senator Dan Patrick is the main sponsor of the ultrasound measure and, under his bill, women would not be required to see the ultrasound but they must be allowed the chance to do so and can sign a form stating they were given the opportunity.
Rep. Frank Corte Jr., a San Antonio Republican, is the sponsor of the House version of the legislation, HB 36. In 2007, the state Senate approved the bill and it stalled in the House.
In January, Texas Gov. Rick Perry urged lawmakers in the state legislature to adopt the bill, which he called another layer of protection for the most vulnerable Texans.
Issues of this complexity and moral weight are the sort of thing that we are sent here to address, he said.
Hundreds of pro-life advocates from across Texas rallied at the state capitol in February with Perry, Attorney Gen. Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and the authors of the bills.
The Texas Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates and Texas NARAL oppose the bill allowing women a chance to see the ultrasound.
During hearings on the prior bill, Juli Morrison of Seguin testified for it and said that she had an abortion 13 years ago and the abortion practitioner took a sonogram of her unborn baby but would not show it to her.
"I’m not here to argue the sanctity of life or anything," she said, according to AP. "I know from personal experience, from counseling women who are post-abortive, as much information as you can give them is the best."
There are more than 74,000 abortions in Texas annually and legislators are hoping Patrick’s bill and others the legislature is considering will help reduce that figure.
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