Editor's note: Melinda Fredricks is vice chairwoman of the Republican Party of Texas and a member of the Texas Federation of Republican Women. In 2008, she was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission. In 2003, Perry appointed her to the Texas Medical Board, which licenses and disciplines physicians.
For an opposing view, please click here.
By Melinda Fredricks, Special to CNN
(CNN) – Despite opponents’ claims to the contrary, the real controversy concerning the newly enacted Texas Sonogram Law is that it took an act of the legislature to give women considering an abortion the information they deserve about this medical procedure.
Nonetheless, Garry Trudeau decided to make some ugly mischaracterizations of the law in his “Doonesbury” comic strip.
If it weren’t for the damage his misinformation could create, many Texans would just laugh at Trudeau’s ignorance. For one thing, he seems to think our legislature is made up of only middle-aged GOP men. The 21 women legislators who voted for the bill take issue with that, I’m certain. And while the bill was passed overwhelmingly by Republicans, without bi-partisanship the bill could not have passed the Texas Senate.
However, Trudeau’s misinformation crossed over into just plain nasty when he characterized the Texas Sonogram Law as rape. Disappointingly, a brilliant and talented woman such as former ABC news anchor Carole Simpson defended him in her recent article on this site.
Simpson’s argument is based on a statement that a vaginal sonogram is necessary in order to obtain the information required by the law to be given to the patient, and she alleges it “may even damage the reproductive organs of women who dare to seek an abortion.” This begs the questions, if a vaginal ultrasound is so dangerous, then why in the world did the FDA approve it, and why does the National Abortion Federation recommend it as a standard of care for some first-trimester medically induced abortions?
Moreover, in her article Simpson describes Trudeau’s work: “Another strip shows a doctor about to perform the procedure (emphasis mine), and the bubble of words coming from his mouth says, ‘By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.’” I got to wondering which “procedure” is Simpson referring to – the sonogram or the abortion? Because on Planned Parenthood’s website, I found that an abortion requires several things to be put into a woman’s vagina and I quote:
During an aspiration abortion:
o A speculum will be inserted into your vagina.
o Your health care provider may inject a numbing medication into or near your cervix.
o The opening of your cervix may be stretched with dilators — a series of increasingly thick rods.
o A tube is inserted through the cervix into the uterus.
And Simpson is outraged over a vaginal sonogram being given before an abortion? (By the way, Planned Parenthood assures women that a vaginal ultrasound is not painful.)
The fact is, the Texas law simply increases the standard of care for informed consent for abortion to the same level that is common for other medical procedures. The principle of “informed consent” is well-entrenched in state law for other medical procedures. But the abortion industry opposes attempts to provide their patients the same amount of information patients might routinely be given for much less invasive procedures. In its clinical guidelines, the National Abortion Federation states that “The findings of all ultrasound exams and the interpretation of those findings must be documented in the medical record.” Before the Texas Sonogram Law was enacted, abortion providers weren’t sharing those results of the sonogram with the patient.
Sonograms were already routinely conducted by abortion providers before the Texas Sonogram law and the National Abortion Federation recommends vaginal sonograms as standard of care in many first trimester abortions. The Texas Sonogram law simply requires that the doctor provide the patient the opportunity to view that sonogram and to hear the baby’s heartbeat, as well as provide state specified printed materials, and a verbal explanation of the sonogram results.
Moreover, contrary to Simpson’s claims, women who do not wish to see the sonogram image or hear the fetal heartbeat may simply sign a waiver stating they declined to view the information. In the event of a medical emergency, the doctors’ requirements can be bypassed with proper documentation.
Indeed, prior to this law, doctors often performed abortions without ever meeting the patient or even speaking with her. The law requires that a physician who is to perform the abortion meet with the patient at least 24 hours before the abortion is to take place. The doctor must provide basic information to the patient, including medical risks associated with the type of abortion to be performed, probable development age of the unborn child, as well as the medical risks to carrying the child full term.
Simpson says Trudeau believes there is a war on women, and maybe Trudeau is right. But we have differing opinions on who the enemies might be. During the testimony in support of this legislation, several women testified they had been denied an opportunity to view their sonograms at Texas abortion facilities, an egregious violation of their rights as patients. The Texas Sonogram Law simply ensures that physicians offer women undergoing abortion a similar level of informed consent already being provided for other medical procedures in Texas. I’m proud that Texas believes women are strong and smart enough to know the full truth before making such a critical decision. The only thing disappointing about the law is that it was even necessary at all.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Melinda Fredricks.
I agree that the law is stupid and the gov't shouldn't decide procedures like that, but it's not rape. It's the woman's consent to have the abortion, which is far more invasive than the sonograph, since the woman only needs to get the sonograph if has given consent to have an abortion it's implied that she has given consent for the sonograph. Don't slenderize actual rape by comparing it to things that are not rape. Criticize the thing for it being ridiculous and not the government's business, not for being rape. Also, the comments on this disgust me. Apparently people aren't allowed to have differing opinions.
I agree this law is idiotic and the gov't shouldn't decided what the procedure should be. However, it's not rape. It's the woman's consent to have the abortion, which is far more invasive than the sonograph, since the woman only needs to get the sonograph if has given consent to have an abortion it's implied that she has given consent for the sonograph. Don't slenderize actual rape by comparing it to things that are not rape. Criticize the thing for it being ridiculous and not the government's business, not for being rape.
Also, the comments on this disgust me. Apparently people aren't allowed to have opinions.
Ever notice that the women who are against abortion are those nobody wants to F#@k in the first place?
I'm sure Trudeau just didn't see the reality of the situation. I can understand this as I myself didn't realize that even Texas had 21 women in the state legislature that are that stupid.
I kinda think legislatures in general are getting pretty famous for their stupid people. :)
Perhaps, but having lived there for a while I can tell you that Texas is special with that regard. The everything is bigger in Texas applies to stupid as well. When they finally passed an open container law in the late 80's (yes, it took that long) it was so weak that it was vitrually impossible to inforce. If they were giving away land you couldn't convince me to move back to that state.
I know. There are so many nice people there, and one is loathe to write off an entire state or it's entore culture – but the dominant political forces there are just appalling. I remember some years ago, someone offerd to buy out my husband's business but as part of the deal we would relocate to Texas to work with them – and it was a LOT of money.
They kept saying how much of a palace we could buy for our money and all that stuff, oh, and there WERE universities and museums and symphonies etc., trying to sell us on the deal. And those things are all true.
But my husband would frankly rather be dead in a ditch than live there – turned them down flat, though politely. Wouldn't think of raising our children in that atmosphere, and in that I certainly agreed. Wasn't worth any amount of money.
They genuinely could not understand it. Nice folk, but...no way. It turned out to be a sound decision, the kids grew up great, and found really wonderful spouses (so much of how our lives end up have to do with who our kid's friends are – and who they marry!) and life has been good. Another reminder that money isn't everything.
WHAT PART of 'Against Her Will' Does the author of this Article NOT Understand?
Haven't you noticed?
They simply ignore anything which might call them to respond to something they do not already think.
We should continued to try to communicate anyway. It's the right thing to do.
Thank You! These "conservative" women are so used to being told what to do by their husbands they forget what individual will is...
Any self-respecting woman that believes this law has an ounce of merit in it is sadly deluding and needs a lobotomy! If I were a woman of childbearing age, living in Texas, I'd be packing my bags and finding a new state to live in. Texas republicans have never been noted for their brain power and this power-play definitely brings that to light. Right on Mr. Trudeau!
I just can't for the life of me see why a legislation of men and women, republican or democrat need to codify a medical procedure.
Call it a duck, a geese, a pigeon or a cantaloup. We all know why the stupid was written and passed. It is meant to stir up controversy, "make people realize how hideously 'wrong' abortion" is, and to also waste our court systems time in trying to change their minds on Roe v. Wade.
Ms. Fredericks, don't insult our intelligence by throwing a bunch of straw men around telling us that doctors don't talk to their patience, don't do sonograms, mother needs to know..., etc. It only highlights how ignorant you really are.
You are not a doctor and neither are the law makers so butt out!
I find it very odd that many of the same conservatives who are against abortion are also against easily-accessible birth control supplies. This defies logic. One might almost think they are trying to push women into having unwanted pregnancies.
The writer misses the point entirely, Trudeau is commenting on the absurdity of legislating interference between a woman and a doctor (and this from the party that's constantly hyperventilating about government interference in our lives). Of course it would be better if there were fewer abortions, (maybe start supporting easily obtainable birth control?) but all of these hoops conservatives would like women to jump through are for one purpose and one purpose only: punishment for getting pregnant. Where are the shaming, invasive procedures for the men who get these women pregnant? Where is the punishment equal to that doled out to women? When men can get pregnant they may comment on what or what not to do about pregnancy, until then shut-up. Women who find abortion abhorrent don't have to have one, it's as simple as that.
right behind ya nodding in total agreement! I can't believe this woman, Melinda Fredricks, had audacity to speak as if she's a spokeperson for women. Fredericks is a tool for the viagra poppin', mistress loving (abortions for them if necessary) men she's groveling to!
I almost agree, but not quite. I think it's not so much about being punished for getting pregnant, but rather being punished for *NOT WANTING* to get pregnant. Remember, we're talking largely about groups of people whose basis for morality is the Bible, which commands people to "be fruitful and multiply" and tells them "blessed is the man whose quiver is full" (a verse that was talking about having lots of kids). It is, in opinions of many of such people, a woman's God-given DUTY to have children, not a choice or an option. So abortions, in their opinion, should be illegal, as should most forms of birth control, and the idea that a woman may not want children is abhorrent and unnatural and should be discouraged.
DIY CHICK "I almost agree, but not quite. I think it's not so much about being punished for getting pregnant, but rather being punished for *NOT WANTING* to get pregnant. Remember, we're talking largely about groups of people whose basis for morality is the Bible, which commands people to "be fruitful and multiply" and tells them "blessed is the man whose quiver is full" (a verse that was talking about having lots of kids). It is, in opinions of many of such people, a woman's God-given DUTY to have children, not a choice or an option. So abortions, in their opinion, should be illegal, as should most forms of birth control, and the idea that a woman may not want children is abhorrent and unnatural and should be discouraged"
Oh my gosh!!!
#1 – If anyone is in need of abortion care, for goodness sakes go to a doctor!!! People die attempting this on their own. It's part of the hypocrisy of those who fashion themselves "pro-life" that they are perfectly willing to sacrifice the life of women (who may very well be mothers to other children, who need their Mommy) in order to preserve the fertilized egg.
#2 – It is NOT Biblical morality to have no choice about planning your family (contraception) or having to deal with tragic conflicts of Life vs. Life which end in abortion.
Please, don't throw out ALL Christians and the ENTIRE Bible along with the bathwater in this matter. There is a real distinction between the earnest beliefs of FUNDAMENTALIST Christians and other, many equally earnest Christians.
There is also a pretty big distinction, for that matter, between fundamentalist beliefs and the actual teachings of Jesus, much of the time.
Texas should learn from Virginia where I live. The state legislature had approved a similar bill but the Republican governor (Bob McDonnell) refused to sign it because he thought it was over stepping the bounds of government. He was 100% right.
He DID end up signing a bill. They just added a clause for the victim having to sign a consent form, so that it was no longer technically rape.
There is nothing 100% right about McDonnell except for his rightwing nutcase POV, sorry to say.
Even with the consent form it is still rape, as the consent is coerced.
Thank you for notice noticing that.
The point the supporters of this law are apparently trying to make is that raping citizens who seek an an abortion is justified if it discourages abortions.
I don't get it. Abortion is a perfectly legal procedure. Why is it necessary to create laws to supplement, again, a perfectly legal procedure?
Please no attacks or name calling. I believe I have a very valid question here.
I hope you're not sitting there holding your breath for a rational response...
Nothing in her bio indicates that she is a practicing medical professional in any capacity EXCEPT that she is a political appointee of Governor Perry's. What qualifies her to judge that capabilities of medical professionals, except for their possible political beliefs? This is a Soviet-style move, where the only qualification needed for a professional position is your politics and/or membership in the Party. Sickening, but predictable with the GOP.
Is this woman for real? I guess everyone should thank Melinda Fredericks and the Texas Republican Party for coming to the rescue of women by forcing them to endure government meddling in their medical care. Apparently, she believes that women are "strong and smart enough" to handle the government intrusion but not quite "strong and smart enough" to make their own decisons without her help. What condescending tripe. Please keep it up Melinda. I think the flickering flame of the far right is about to extinguish itself.
They are about to turn green, choking on their own obtuse convoluted arguments. Do they think the American public will put up with this nonsense? We didn't fight all our wars for freedom to permit this loss of freedom coming from some bunch of morons in charge of a state legislature and governorship.
i am pro-choice however i am not pro-abortion but i have wondered something for a long time now... when it came to casey anthony her husband was chrged with two counts of murder when the child was not born... i am not arguing about murder through an abortion i am just trying to get feedback on peoples opinion... why in casey anthony's case was it considered murder and an abortion not?
What are you talking about? Casey Anthony is alive, was not married, and the child that was killed (by Ms. Anthony), was a few years old.
You have the wrong case, but that happens all the time.
Killing an unborn child is often considered murder if the parents wanted the kid.
Sadly, most people don't even want the law to be consistent.
Republicans want to end big government...except where it concerns women and their reproductive health and lives. All of these crazy laws that try to throw obstacles in the way of a women's perfectly legal right to determine whether or not she will carry a child has gone beyond the ridiculous. And where does it stop? Today it's birth control and abortion. What's next? Because I guarantee you, there will be a next big thing. They are slowly trying to chip away and turn back the clock. I have to wonder about the women in the Republican party who would support such legislation. These people hide behind the falsity that this is done so women can make an informed decision. Women are not stupid. The informed decision has already been made. After all is said and done, it comes down to this: this is a personal decision between that woman and her God. She has to do what's right for her, and be able to live with that.
Why are the Republicans only for small government when it concerns corporations, but all about micro-managing people's lives?
The Republican party consists of a coalition of the Christian Right and Big Business. The Christian Right wants to meddle in people's personal lives and make everyone conform to their vision of right and wrong. Big Business (Corporations) want to make as much money as possible with as few regulations as possible: the environment, workers' rights, and consumer protection be damned.
That was very well expressed – simple and right on target.
Because the party is divided berween the money manipulators who really run it, and the fundamentalist Christians who are gulled into voting for them.
Unrestrained greed enabled by religious fundamentalists = no regulation of business + hyper-regulation of the most personal aspects of human lives.
CNN never prints my comments, so this is a time waster. This "bubble-headed bleached blonde" (Eagles) who backs Gov. Perry and this continuing string of "Stupid White Men"(Michael Moore) telling women what should be done with their bodies is as should be expected. Let me guess, she's never worried about that next meal for her kids. Never been raped. Never been anywhere her credit card didn't work. Never worked 3 jobs just to make rent. Just another right wing Texan telling women how to deal with their lives. Get one. If this is so unobtrusive she should show all women by having one and putting it on YouTube. Please CNN, put this one in your censorship file, as you have all the others.
Why are the legislators in Texas being arrested and charged with practising medicine without a license? These cretins are setting medical policy and procedures, yet the vast majority have no training or education in biology, much less medicine. For that matter, why is Melinda Fredrick not in jail? She is on the Texas Board of Medicine, yet do you know what her qualifications are to determine medical policy? Her qualifications are tht she is a former junior high math teacher. Her qualifications are that she is a stay-at-home mom. Her qualifications are that she is a right-wing, fundamentalist, nutter.
CORRECTION – Why are the legislators NOT being arrested.
if all people who practice medicine or direct medical policy without a license were to be arrested, all the health insurance agencies would soon have all their employees in jail. I'm guessing this is another way for someone to make money (since the women undergoing the ultrasound would have to pay for this invasive and humiliating procedure).
Melinda Fredrick's primary argument is that a woman should have "informed consent" prior to an abortion. The problem is that in order to get the information for this so-called "informed consent" the law mandates that a woman receive this information through an invasive surgical procedure administered against her will–without her consent. If she voluntarily wants to have this type of sonogram, more power to her, but the government has no business meddling with a woman's private parts.
You missed the part where women have the right to wavie the sonogram.
And the part where the sonogram is already a standard part of having an abortion.
I believe you are mistaken about the right to waive having the internal sonogram. This is the whole point of the story: women in Texas wanting an abortion must, by law, have this internal sonogram–and not for medical purposes but for a political purpose: to satisfy the desire of the Christian Right to thwart the right of a woman to have an abortion. Whether a woman actually has a sonogram ought to be a matter between her and her doctor and it ought to be her choice, not that of the Texas legislature and Governor Perry.
Except, perhaps for the word "thwart". It's more accurate to say punish, deter, humiliate, obstruct, manipulate...is there a word for all of those? Bully, I suppose.
I confess, I don;t think much of bullies.
At the risk of sounding like an expert, which I am not, I have to question the belief that internal sonograms are "a standard part of having an abortion". So-called facts are bandied about in discussions like these, and nobody challenges them. Therefore, I challenge anyone who is interested to present objective evidence that internal sonograms are "standard", which I assume means being used in nearly 100% of the abortion procedures in the United States. Or, what is the actual percentage?
That's a good question...but it's not the point. Whether or not there is an internal sono done does not matter. It's LEGISLATING that a woman MUST have one, irrespective of her or her doctor's wishes.
This issue is not about procedures. It's not about babies.
By the way, if you are an atheist, you need to check the dictionary for the correct spelling.
Maybe because atheists never went to Sunday School? :)
I agree with you, but i've noticed that several people defending this law have made the statement that sonograms are "standard". I could just as well make the contrary statement that they are not standard at all and in fact are rarely used. I suspect that there isn't much need for sonograms in most abortion cases and people are just inventing facts to justify their beliefs.
Tis usually the way with fanatics, don't you think?
You sound like a very good guy.
They have the right to sign a waiver saying they don't want to see the sonogram but must by law have the sonogram in order to have the abortion. If i've decided on the abortion, i'm already voicing my informed consent. I don't need the sonogram to "guilt" me into having the baby.
There should be no reason to put this legislation into place. The government does NOT, in my opinion, have the right to decide for me what procedures I MUST ... or even, should ... have ... or, not have. That decision should be between me and my doctor. PERIOD.
I wish everyone would stop going on about race, and "white Republicans," as though there were something bad about being white and a Republican. This isn't about race, it's about religion! While I am pro-choice myself, I have to acknowledge that if one truly believes that abortion is the same as murder, then putting any sort of obstacle in the way makes perfect sense. (It is kind of grinding when people like Ms. Fredricks lie about what they are doing, and pretend that their purpose is to make sure women are "informed," but that's how politics is).
Just thinking, if all the mothers of pro abortion people had abortions then there would be no argument !
Wow, nimrod – I was just thinking about various hypotheticals that would have pre-empted you and your prattle. Had I been aborted – I would never have noticed. Same for you.
“Just thinking, if all the mothers of pro abortion people had abortions then there would be no argument !”
Don’t try thinking, it’s clearly not your strong suit. My mother did have an abortion, it allowed her to not be bound to her abusive first husband and get on with her life and eventually marry my father and have me. My mother was pro-choice until the day she died and I am pro-choice. And yes, I do mean pro-CHOICE and not “pro abortion” as you and those like you like to characterize us as. I don’t care whether a woman chooses to have an abortion or not; what I do care about is that she has legal access to doctor to perform the procedure if that is HER CHOICE.
Bravo John Richards! Well put.
Even is abortion is outlawed, it will continue. And if it does, I hope that all women educate themselves on how to perform an abortion in their own home. After all, the FDA doesn't regulate herbs.
Tansy tea, with a bit of blue cohosh. Black cohosh supplements help as well. Every few hours, but not for more than a week. As always, double check with your doctor to make sure it won't react negatively with anything else you're doing.
Sharia Law is alive and well in Texas, only for women though, just like Islam !!!! You go Rickey boy !!
He will if we let him, the first chance he gets.
Good point. They never complain about *their* Sharia laws.
Oh Doonesbury gets it. The only people who do not get it are WHITE REPUBLICAN MALES! Can anyone imagine Rick Perry as dictator of the USA and that is what he would try to become if he were to be elected President.
Scares the H... out of me !!!
What I get from some of the comments is that if it is from Texas, you hate it.
Just the stupid things.
Just the racist things.
Just the misogynistic things.
Just the ho.mophobic things.
Just the anti-science things.
Just the anti-education things.
Just the fundamentalist things.
The other stuff is just fine.
one million internets to paige's aborted children
i don't even know what that means??????
Ridiculous. Yes, lets stop young teens have an abortion because according to Rick Santorum "there are too many YOUNG MOTHERS breeding them". In my opinion, this law is ridiculous! It's another law to make women feel more of a second class citizen. Procedure: Pregannt, want an abortion, go through extensive procedures, show the baby, hear the heartbeat, have a personal relationship with doctor, he/she says, the baby will grow out to be healthy and blah blah blah. Now that we have discussed all these matters, DO YOU STILL WANT TO HAVE AN ABORTION?!
PUHHLEASEEE. Somebody, pinch me. You know, i despise when people say... "you know the consequence". That's why contraception was made.
‘By the authority invested in me by the GOP base, I thee rape.’” I got to wondering which “procedure” is Simpson referring to – the sonogram or the abortion?
I'm pretty sure he was talking about the sonogram. You see, Melinda, the abortion was her choice...the sonagram was not. In fact, it was Rick Perry forcing his will upon her.
It wasn't the child who is about to be murdered choice either
A fetus is not a child, and an abortion is not murder.
I understand that you disagree with me, but medical knowledge and the law are not on your side here. The more you twist words and use emotionally-charged hyperbolic language, the fewer people take you or your arguments seriously.
I wish you were right about that, that peope would not take them seriously. But here is how it really works:
Someone says something – a lie, a belief, a rumor, and half-fact. Frequently this is Fox or Limbaugh or any of the others on hate radio, but it can really just be one person determined to either perpetuate a lie or half-truth so as to imppose their view on a larger pool of people.
They say it to one or two others. Then they say it to a few others, and pretty soon, it is repeated in the circle; it comes back to people from a fresh source and then is received as an affirmation of the original statement – because they've heard it more than one place now. It SURELY must be so.
After an astonishingly short time, ti gets picked up and handed round as fact.
Death panels. FEMA concentration camps. Aliens. "Small government" Republicans. Iinformation: for pregnant women.
Works very reliebly.
Seriously...the bible is pretty explicit that an unborn fetus has no soul. You and the rest of the religious right should refamiliarize yourselves with your so-called holy book.
Leviticus 24:17 says, (I'm using the NIV translation for clarity, though King James always sounds better): "'If anyone takes the life of a human being, he must be put to death." Clear enough, right? Now, contrast that with Exodus 21:22-24: “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely* but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows. But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot."
The "serious harm" the writer (Joshua, according to Jewish and Christian tradition) refers to is to the mother, and the footnote (*) reads "or has a miscarriage." The King James translation has it as "If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her" which makes it a bit clearer that the Hebrew law is talking about a dead fetus, and that harm to the mother is grounds for a civil suit.
So, congratulations: American Christianity is less progressive than a most likely slave-owning Jewish guy born about 3400 years ago.
It's not rape. It's the woman's consent to have the abortion, which is far more invasive than the sonograph, since the woman only needs to get the sonograph if has given consent to have an abortion it's implied that she has given consent for the sonograph. Don't slenderize actual rape by comparing it to things that are not rape. Criticize the thing for it being ridiculous and not the government's business, not for being rape.
It's Texas people. They keep electing idiots as governor, keep executing more people than any other state, so why would you expect something that actually makes sense?
If only that were true.
Fox ain't successful for nothing. They've got this down.
Doonesbury gets it just right. These things aren't necessary for the safety of the patient. They are done to try to influence the patient to make a different decision. They are done to make the women feel bad about their decisions. They aren't medically necessary and its being forced upon the women against their will. That's rape.
When I read things like these, I'm so glad I don't live in the US (well, Texas at least in this case). If I got this right (and please do correct me if I'm wrong) the law will work like this:
A woman wants to have an abortion, her doctor says there is no medical problem at all with it and can start the procedure some time later.
But now the state wants the woman to make a "choice": Get a lot of different medical objects shoved up into her, watch the fetus, get "information" on how this will be a baby in some 8-9 months and aborting it will be like murdering it, Or decline the examination and thereby get denied the abortion by default.
Or am I missing something here? This is America? Really? I would have understood it if it were in some ME country but not "the land of the free".
We are glad you don't live in Texas also
It's hard to imagine how a bunch of ideologues who passed this law could get themselves elected to power. But many Americans are no more immune to the crazed rantings of leaders of the Christian Right than many Germans were to the crazed rantings of Adolph Hitler. Let's hope that the tide will turn, and there will be enough blowback to get these people kicked out in the next election.
I hope none of the people voting yes on this are for "small government."
Are the right to right of GOP candidates akin to the ayatollahs of Iran and the taliban of Afghanistan? If one talks like a duck, walks like a duck then can we guess one is a duck?
Not surprising since you have a greater chance of being wrongfully convicted in Texas than you do in any other state, actually 3rd world countries have a fairer system of justice than Texas. They get it WRONG most of time in Texas, this is just another example of what happens when you have centuries of inbreeding in one state.
Texas has not been around long enough to have had the inbreeding rampant in other parts of the country- like the East Coast. Texas has had a total of 3 Republican Governors since reconstruction and was the bluest of blue states until 1980. I would suggest that the influx of nutjobs from elsewhere have skewed the politics here from the tradition of fiscal conservatism and social tolerance that dominate Texas history. But don't be concerned- demographics are on the side of moderation, and in 10-15 years Texas and its large number of electoral college votes will be firmly blue again.
If you don't want a child you have a choice. Get fixed so that you can mate around like an animal without any consequences. They even have temporary fixes these days so that if you decide to stop rutting around and settle down, you can then get pregnant when you plan. There is never a need for an abortion except in the case of incest and child molestation. And being raped myself at a very young age, finding out I was pregnant by the piece of crap that raped me, I wish so much that I had the baby and gave it up for adoption. It would have comforted me that something good came out of that horrible night.
Paige just because you have emotional issues doesn't mean that all other women or girls need to suffer for it. Get over yourself–please for the benefit of others. You got to choose, your feelings about that choice whether regret or relief are your own. Don't take it as a license to tell others how to behave. No one and I mean no one needs the benefit of your hindsight or your insecurities.
That was your inalienable right to have the baby by the man who raped you and then give it up for adoption but you do NOT have the right to tell another rape victim that she MUST do the same thing as you. So please get the psychological help you so badly need.
ICan someone tell me whether the following is an accurate statement? Thanks.
Sonograms are already done before every abortion. Agents of Planned Parenthood testified in the Texas Legislature that a pre-abortion sonogram is already the standard of care for a number of medical and health reasons.
Pre-abortion sonograms identify how many children are in the womb, the gestational age of the child or children, the location of the child or children, and problems with the pregnancy. These factors determine which abortion method will be employed.
Yes that is true. And they stick all kinds of instruments up there too. It is a painful procedure that further traumatizes women. But they are told that it is the right thing to do by this society. And it isn't.
so its ok to just pump out babys and what just keep putting babys up for adoption . its easier to adopt a baby from a third world country than adopt in the U S -- makes no sense -– look around we are turning into USSR or CHINA
Paige – you must be talking about the abortion. The ultrasound is not painful. I have had 3 high-risk pregnancies and had these tests done repeatedly. All this talk about a 10 inch wand – that's 10 inches long, people, and it's flexible, and it's only an inch maybe two in diameter. Unless your virginity is intact, and since you're going in for an abortion, I'm guessing that's not the case, then this test will not be painful.
Not necessarily, no. If the Ob-Gyn can determine with certainty that the pregnancy is less than 20 weeks, there is no need for an ultrasound or sonogram. Towards the normal 20 week cut-off (except for terminations considered medically necessary) they may need one.
You and your "god" have something to say about what I and my doctor discuss in private, that's nice.
What is there to debate?
No intellectualism in that scenario, just plain old separation of "church/god" and "state"
I'm so thankful I live in a country where a woman...including me, can have an abortion, and people can carry guns to protect themselves, and we can speak our minds without having our minds beaten out of us...
Its the best...not like those horrible countries like, Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq...where the government seems to think that a person...especially a woman cannot determine her own future, fate, clothing or tax bracket.
This procedure is not rape, but its a useless and expensive medical procedure.
At least Rick Perry is footing the bill for the sonogram, right?!?!
This is not a useless medical procedure. If I had known there was a baby that was alive and had a heartbeat when I went to get an abortion 2 times, I would never had one. Ever. I mourn daily for those two babies I killed. You may not have any remorse and think your lifestyle is more important than having a child come ruin it but I don't and neither do millions of other women.
Stop it Paige, sorry you were raped, may women get raped but don't post over and over ad nauseum on public forums. Count your blessings and get on with your life..
It may have been about lifestyle to you, but you do not get to judge it a matter of lifestyle for everyone else.
There are many with genuine tragedy in their lives which leave them with little choice. They are no where to be heard from in all this commentary. It's appalling.
It's sad that you feel like you didn't know the implications of your actions, but that doesn't mean that every woman doesn't and should not have bodily autonomy and medical privacy.
again with total self interest!
really paige? you had no idea the baby was alive or there was a heartbeat? what did you thing was in there, a cabbage? my apologies to cabbages, they appear to have more common sense.
Dear Ms. Fredricks:
My wife (of 30 years) and I are pro-choice. We both hope that no woman would ever have to have an abortion. But I find the Texas law despciable. Republicans find it an affront to personal liberty that the government would impose rules and regulations to insure clean air and water, and that they do not discrminate against people. BUT Republicans believe that it is okay for the government to inject itself between a person and their medical professional. You are beyond contempt.
They are not inserting themselves between the dr and patient. They are making sure that a woman in crisis actually meets with her doctor. You know nothing about it obviously because the bill states that the doctor must meet with the patient before the procedure, NOT DURING which was standard procedure before the bill. And they require that a woman is shown the results of a sonogram that is already ROUTINELY done already. You really need to take your "appalled" self over to the child abuse network and work on the kids already here with your opinions and money. They need a few people to get "appalled" about them.
The woman in crisis can see a doctor without being subjected to rape by the state.
These excuses for what this is really about are pathetic.
Paige darlin', get help NOW before you hurt others. Your rantings are sad and lonely. There are healthcare professionals who can work with you to overcome your issues and learn that you are not the center of the universe and that your thoughts and ideas are irrelevant.
Paige I have one question for you.
How many "unwanted" children in the foster system have you adopted. Millions of children are waiting to be adopted everyday. Why is that?
Give it up paige.
Most of the comments here show a total lack of reading comprehension.
If they get basic facts wrong that were covered in the main article, then you aren't going to reach them either.
It's sad, but that's the internet.
It's what black / white thinkers specialize in. You've probably noticed.
This woman should read the account of the Texas woman who after finding out that their unborn son had severe defects, decided to terminate her pregnancy. She was a victim of this law...she was forced to undergo a sonagram and listen to the doctors description...even though she had just been to her own doctor and had gone through the agony of learning that her son was beyond help and hope. She had already seen 2 sonagrams that very day and had been through a second exam to confirm what her doctor said. To read more got to AlterNet.org, Gawker, the The Texas Observer, or one of the news channels there that actually interviewed her. What she was forced to endure was unthinkable.
What Teacherlady is describing is one of the awful unintended consequences of a law written by ideologues. Who know what other psychological damage is being done to women who are forced to undergo an invasive procedure like this against their will? I am not a woman, and it's impossible for me to imagine what it's like to have a foreign object inserted into me like that. Perhaps the male Texas legislators ought to imagine what it's like to have a forced very prolonged prostate examination.
You sound like a man with a pretty good heart in there. Visible without a sonogram. :)
And what about the female legislators on both sides of the fence who voted for this? You are ridiculous. The women already go through it routinely now before abortions. They have to know where the baby is so that they just suck him out or scrap him out and not any of the woman's uterus. Get informed. The law only requires that the patient no longer go into the abortionist blind but armed with information, isn't that the liberal mantra? Get Informed? Everywhere except the abortion clinic huh?
Sorry, I don't buy that . Think the PP Pro abortion crowd is not ideological?
It is a procedure to let women know exactly what is growing inside of them. They can come to whatever conclusion they want to. The fact is, PP and the pro abortion crowd don't want women to know that .... they would rather just not be transparent as possible when it comes to this, and for PP that is MONEY.
That makes no sense...it's a non-profit, not a corporation.
The question is not whether or not a woman should have knowledge about the fetus. It's about the government mandating that she receive this knowledge through an invasive surgical procedure administered against her will. If she voluntarily wants to have this type of sonogram, more power to her.
In Paige's comments, she repeatedly explains what the law says and tells everyone to get informed. Well, for those of you who haven't read the actual law, here is the link...
This law codifies a government intrusion into the relationship of a patient and her doctor in order to make it more difficult and painful for her to obtain a LEGAL procedure. No one who reads the law and question that. That is the purpose of the law. I think that is wrong and indefensible. You may think differently. However, if you haven't read the law yourself, please refrain from "explaining" it to us. That means you Paige.!!
Thanks for encouraging Paige to keep her unwelcome thoughts to herself. See Paige there are a lot of others who can see you aren't helping.
Is this the Texas version of limiting government intrusion in our personal lives? Forced medical procedures? What next Tex? Sharia Law?
You can pretty much count on it. Santorum won't even give it a decent interval before starting in on the show trials.
Double up on the prayer for America...
Yes, only it won't be called Sharia.
It will be called something fundamentalist/Orwellian like Jesus Loves You Law.
Christ forgive us
this woman is a sellout and a wh0r3.
Sellout? Fair enough. Wh0r3 is WAY not OK.
I'm sure you want to stay better than a Limbaugh...
Time to take your meds and lie down for a nap.
Nice to see that CNN CENSORED!!!! the counter article the refutes this nut job. Do we live in some middle east country where religious nut jobs dictate what can't and can be report/ discussed? Just a step away from FOX news CNN tread carefully.
There's always N P R.
At least, if God's mercies continue.
I assume that you mean the opposing view article that's linked to on the top of the page.
"For an opposing view, click here"
"The Texas Sonogram law simply requires that the doctor provide the patient the opportunity to view that sonogram and to hear the baby’s heartbeat,"
the texas sonogram law requires that doctors increase already elevated stress levels and extract as much "guilt" over a heart beat as possible
i do not understand all the hubbub. (1) As for the graphic details: apparently the women in question are willing to undergo a painful treatment. So thank you Melinda, for expliciting the details. (2) You can act holy on the topic of abortion, but self-indulgence in matters of food is apparently not a problem in the US. I wonder what the good lord says about that abomination of the human body. (3) In five years, if obesity continues as it does, abortion will become a live-saving operation for republican women who apparently were self indulgent on two accounts and would not survive pregnancy.
Because one preocedure is deemed necessary by two people, the patient and the doctor. Any rule that requires you be penetrated for a non-docor order procedure (cuase it was ordered by christian lawmakers) is i would agree RAPE
I'm so thankful that Rick Perry is out of the presidential race, because otherwise Fredericks with her experience on the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and Texas Medical Board (sans M.D., apparently) would clearly be on the short list for the Supreme Court. Ah, well there's a always the TEXAS Supreme Court...
This gal, being obviously past men au pause, doesn't have to worry about undergoing this procedure. She gets her kix off boh tox and a double Jack–time for a full lift...and ease off the peroxide (it has obviously gotten to your brain).
What about the fathers in all this? Shouldn't they have a reversible vasectomy until an abortion decision is final or dropped? Oh, almost forgot...that's not manly. After all, it the woman's fault if she gets nokked up.
Get out of my bedroom and my doctor's office! (In other words, mind your own g-D business!)
"The 21 women legislators who voted for the bill take issue with that, I’m certain"
GOP's got their Stepford wives well-trained.
Discussing anything of any intellectual weight with a republican or a christian is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how brilliantly played your game, they're just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board, and then strut around like they're victorious.
Please replace "Christian" with "fundamentalist christian" in the above post.
Thank you. You expressed the request far better than I did.
I LOVE IT!!! That is the best comparison I have ever seen. Short, Sweet and 100% Accurate! Thank you!
Please don't mistake everyone who claims to be a Chrisitan as an actual follower of the teachings of Jesus. It's very depressing, and frankly Jesus deserves better.
RevMum, with all due respect that 'don't judge all Christians by the lunatic fringe' doesn't work when the lunatic fringe is the *only* ones speaking. Saying 'Oh I don't agree with that' very quietly just doesn't work.
The so called intellectual elitist strikes again. You guys think so highly of yourselves. I will debate you any time bub.
OK! Name your time, and prepare to be shamed.
Discussing anything of any intellectual weight with a democrat is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how brilliantly played your game, they're just going to knock over the pieces, crap on the board, and then strut around like they're victorious.
That was easy to post but, alas, it didn't say much.
Speaking as an independent voter there are far more Republican birdbrains than Democrat birdbrains. The Republicans have been on the ascendency for a long time because they've convinced many voters that whatever laws they pass are God-approved. This can't last forever.
I think speaks loudly of the debate tactics of the fringe right in the US, especially when they're up against the ropes. Win, at all costs, concede nothing, might and obstinance make right.
Sooner or later the birdbrains will be voted out of office. Let's hope it's sooner.
It lasted quite awhile during the Inquisition. This is just the modern day, watered-down version of the same thing that has plagued mankind for centuries.
This whole debate has NOTHING to do with babies. They are just the most recent fig leaf for social cruelty.
No one has any business discussing, or deciding what a woman chooses to do when she is pregnant.
You want it, you raise it; you educate it,;you worry about it, care for it. support it and watch it leave
you in the dust when it is 18 of younger...(which is normal and ok – that's life).. just reality – just saying.
no body's business except the potential parent/ most cases – l mother. You want to give your life to it, fine. If you choose not to, fine. Everyone needs to stay out of the bedroom and out of the doctor's office, and out of the heads of women.
You are absolutely right.
See my other comments,
It's amazing that last night (Friday March 17, 2012) I read both the article above and the dissenting opinion.
Today when I tried to show the same two articles to a friend, I would like to say that I was astonished that the article that voiced the opinion that the Texas Law WAS RAPE, can no longer be found, but I am not astonished. It's business as usual. Only a simple "NOT FOUND" "Sorry but you are looking for something that isn't here."
Well isn't that convenient. CNN has jumped on the back of the Republicans instead of reporting the news as it occurs.
If you are going to take down the opinions of others but leave up the ones YOU think are correct you should excuse yourself from the Media and join a Super Pac for the Republicans. Oh wait...You probably already have.
I agree they overreacted for cryingout loud! Hey if ur going to insert and object to kill your baby then it should not be so bad to insert another one that may help you decide to keep the life within you people. Plus it wasnt so bad when I got it done and I did it to SAVE my baby. This world is so dogone UPsidE DowN! People scream in rageful fits when u r trying to SAVE life and just bow their heads in negligent acceptance when u do anything to ABOrt A lIFE! there will be judgement on all of us one day .
Maybe so, but it ain't up to you to judge, now is it???
Even that bible of yours says 'Therefore *choose* life' – not 'be intimidated into having a child by a government that only cares about that child while its' in the womb'. Seriously...
It's a comic strip Melinda, not a doctoral thesis. I'd hate to see your opinion of the weather forecast.
Post of the year right here! Fifteen internets for Jim!
Jim it is regrettable you cannot realize a political cartoon is commentary.
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