A Texas state law would not have required not only an ultrasound within 24 hours of a scheduled abortion, but for the doctor to play the sound of the baby’s heartbeat, describe the size of the baby and the development of the organs. Which, depending on the age of the baby in utero, can be quite well developed. See when fetal senses develop for an idea of what a pregnant woman might have heard.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said that the law requiring doctors to say certain things would violate the free speech rights of patients and physicians. According to a Dallas paper, Sparks is quoted as saying, “The Act’s onerous requirements will surely dissuade or prevent many competent doctors from performing abortions, making it significantly more difficult for pregnant women to obtain abortions.“
“Forcing pregnant women to receive medical treatment from less-skilled providers certainly seems to be at odds with ‘protecting the physical and psychological health and well-being of pregnant women,’ one of the Act’s stated purposes.”
Ultrasounds prior to abortions are routine in many states and clinics and that portion of the law was not the part that Judge Sparks put a stay on. If the law had passed as it was written, there were potential fines for physicians of up to $10,000, plus loss of medical license, for not abiding by the law.
I applaud the efforts to educate women on what is really happening when they are pregnant. I know when I teach childbirth classes many are often surprised to find out that the baby has a heart beat so soon in development, or that she can hear voices from inside the womb, and even see bright lights! So from an educational stand point I think women SHOULD be educated. But is it the job of the government legislature to dictate the nature of that education? We’ll see what happens in Texas as this ruling has been appealed.