There's only one explanation as to why Republican Governor Rick Perry signed into Texas law one of the most extreme sonogram before abortion bills in the country: As an attorney for the Center of Reproductive Rights explained, it's because he thinks women are "too immature and incompetent" to make the decision of whether or not to get an abortion on their own.
Several mandatory sonogram bills have been passed in states like Arizona and Louisiana under the guise of providing women seeking abortions with "all the facts they need." But Texas' law is among the most excessive in that it requires doctors to tell a woman the size of her fetus' limbs and organs, even if she does not want to know.
Apparently, Gov. Perry thinks he knows better than Texas women what they need to know to make a good decision.
Of course, abortion rights advocates are harshly criticizing the law, and the Center for Reproductive Rights is preparing to file a lawsuit in Texas to challenge it. Here's Bebe Anderson, senior counsel for CRR, explaining why the law is so patronizing to women:
It hijacks the doctor-patient relationship, assumes what a woman must know to make a decision and forces doctors to say things to their patients that they otherwise shouldn't and wouldn't.
Informed consent in the face of a serious health decision like abortion is one thing. But forcing women to hear or see information that has nothing to do with medical risk -- like fetus limb and organ size -- when they have deliberately chosen not to is a disturbing turn of events. Essentially lawmakers (mostly men) are assuming they know better than the women facing an unwanted pregnancy, and this superior stance is both condescending and demeaning.
Not to mention the fact that it's entirely inappropriate for the government to be dictating what doctors say to their patients. This sonogram bill represents everything Republicans say they're against -- increased spending, big government, government regulation, and politicians putting themselves between doctors and patients. And, I'm willing to bet most women are mature and competent enough to recognize the inherent hypocrisy in that.
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