The third time’s the charm, or at least, it may be for Texas Senate Bill 16.
The Texas Senate finally approved the bill Thursday. The bill was passed by the senate in 2007 and 2009 but died in the House. The bill would require a doctor to perform an ultrasound on women before they have an abortion, and the doctor would have to describe the images and explain the progress of the fetus’ organs and limbs. The ultrasound would not be required if the reason for the abortion was for incest, rape or fetal abnormalities.
This time, the bill has been designated an “emergency” measure by Gov. Rick Perry, and an emergency it is.
The idea of making such a life-altering decision without understanding the full consequences that it has on both parties is absurd.
The number of abortions occurring for reasons other than incest, rape or fetal abnormalities speak for themselves. According to The Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, 93 percent of all abortions occur for social reasons, like when the child is unwanted or inconvenient.
“Can we not at least give the baby at least one more chance for survival by giving that mother that information?” state Sen. Bob Deuell (R-Greenville) said.
What is so wrong with informing someone of what’s going on in her own body? If someone truly wants an abortion, the information given to her after her sonogram won’t sway her decision.
The majority of women having abortions in Texas are in their 20s 8212; 58 percent to be exact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, and 85 percent are unmarried. And according to the National Abortion Federation’s website, many of these women have little understanding of their bodies and start having sex before knowing about methods to prevent pregnancy.
Being young and unwed will likely make it emotionally and financially harder to support a child, but there are other alternatives, such as adoption, for these women rather than abortion.
It is unclear where the state will get funding for these ultrasounds. While the state struggles to find money for education, school districts such as Fort Worth and Arlington are looking at a grim future of potential layoffs, according to Feb. 15 articles in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. But this bill is still necessary for Texas women to make an educated decision about their children’s lives.
The decision to end a life affects more than just the subject. Abortion is ending a life.
Ultrasounds offer the opportunity for women to reconsider other options that would spare their children’s lives and spare their consciences from possible repercussions.
Bailey McGowan is a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Burkburnett.