By Mike Norman
“Texas legislators clearly protected their political prospects when they passed a bill requiring pre-abortion sonograms.
But if there is merit to the pleadings in a lawsuit filed Monday by the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, the Legislature and its leaders should have put far more effort into the legislation if they really expected it to be an effective law. Gov. Rick Perry signed the measure May 19, and it’s scheduled to become effective Sept. 1.
Filing a lawsuit is not the same as winning it, and we’ve only heard one side of this one so far. But the Center for Reproductive Rights, which has been pushing lawsuits related to abortion and reproductive healthcare for more than 15 years, raises some good points.
The strongest are based on the “strict liability” placed on physicians who perform abortions. A doctor who fails to follow each new requirement properly “shall” lose his or her medical license. The stakes are high.
The Center for Reproductive Rights cites several crucial points at which the new requirements are unacceptably vague: Nothing in the new law says how a physician should determine whether a woman seeking an abortion could have gone to a facility within 100 miles of her home. The doctor’s medical license hangs on whether the woman waits 24 hours or just two. The suit lists other shortcomings of the sonogram law, but you get the picture. Lawmakers should have been more thorough. Unless this was all just for show.”