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Controversial Texan abortion law rushed through

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Summary of story from Mother Jones, October 4, 2011

A new law forcing women to have a sonogram and wait 24 hours before they can have an abortion was rushed through by the Republican Governor Rick Perry in Texas on October 1.

The bill was passed in May under “emergency” status by Perry, and he and his allies have been racing to implement it with unseemly haste because, according to Perry, “when it comes to saving lives, every second counts.”

The original and full bill would have been able to force doctors to show women the ultrasound, describe the fetus in detail and make her listen to the fetal heartbeat even if the woman refused to do so.

But in August, US District Judge Sam Sparks ruled that these provisions were unconstitutional and violated First Amendment Rights (see WVoN story).

This is, however, only a temporary injunction and doctors in Texas are still required to perform the ultrasound and the women must wait 24 hours before the abortion can be performed.

The law also demands that doctors list organisations that can provide “alternatives to abortion” and to make medically inaccurate claims, such as abortion increasing risks of breast cancer, infertility and risks to future children.

WVoN comment: The author of the original article questions the motives behind the rush to push this bill through and Perry’s presidential ambitions.

I quite agree with her thinking.

I was aghast when I heard about this law earlier in the year and am shocked and dismayed it is even still on the table, let alone in place.

Surely there are some human rights and mental cruelty issues at play here?

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