Texas Sonogram Law Prevents Doctors From Banning Women From Seeing Sonogram

January 18, 2012

The Texas Sonogram law is now in full effect as of January 13, 2012, as ordered by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Yes, every abortion clinic and abortion doctor in Texas must follow this law, now.  Any doctor seeking to perform an abortion on a woman in Texas must follow this law that protects women and makes it illegal for doctors to prevent a woman from seeing a sonogram image.  During the legislative process, we heard so many women testify about how abortion clinic doctors would not let them see the sonogram image.

The Sonogram law requires:

1. A woman must have the sonogram displayed so she can see it.

2. A woman must have a sonogram performed on her.

3. The baby’s heartbeat must be made audible so the woman can hear it.

4. A woman must be given a description of the sonogram image.

5. A woman must have a face to face meeting with the abortion doctor.

6. A woman must be given this information 24 hours before the abortion.

If a doctor does not provide a woman with this information, the doctor faces civil penalties.

Spread the word, and make sure every woman in Texas knows that she now has significant protections in the law when she goes into an abortion clinic.  If you hear of any doctor or abortion clinic not following this law, please contact our office immediately at 512-478-2220.

Court: Texas Sonogram Law To Be Enforced Immediately

January 13, 2012

See the court’s order here.   5th Circuit Order 011312    

See the Texas Attorney General’s request here.    State Motion for Mandate 011212

Thanks again to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and his outstanding staff!

Texas’ Sonogram Law Ruled Constitutional, Signaling Biggest Pro-Life Victory This Decade

January 10, 2012

U.S. Fifth Circuit Court Upholds Law Stating Sonograms Must Be Performed 24 Hours Before Abortions 

AUSTIN, Texas, January 10, 2012 – Today, Liberty Institute announced a major pro-life victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declared constitutional the recently enacted Texas Sonogram Law, also known as HB 15. The Fifth Circuit’s decision overturned a controversial ruling by U.S. District Judge Sparks, which enjoined the Texas law co-authored by Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller and was signed into law by Governor Rick Perry in May 2011. The law requires doctors and certified sonographers to perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure.

“This is one of the most important victories in the past 10 years for informed consent for women seeking an abortion,” said Jonathan Saenz, Liberty Institute Attorney who heads the office at the Texas Capitol and provided the main legal testimony for the bill during the legislative process. “Women and unborn children in Texas are safer today because of this decision and no longer subject to the abuse of abortion doctors who deny women critical medical information.”

HB 15, which amends the 2003 Texas Woman’s Right to Know Act (“WRKA”), requires the physician “who is to perform an abortion” to perform and display a sonogram of the fetus, make audible the heart auscultation of the fetus for the woman to hear, as well as explain to her the results of each procedure and to wait 24 hours, in most cases, between these disclosures and performing the abortion.

Senator Patrick said, “I was always confident that our bill would survive any constitutional question because our goal from the beginning was to protect the woman’s right to know, protect the unborn and protect the constitution.”

Representative Sid Miller, said, “I commend the court of appeals for this just decision which confirms that women have every right to be fully informed about the abortion decision and that my fellow Texas lawmakers who supported this law stayed within the bounds of U.S. Supreme Court precedent.”

In August, on behalf of Senator Patrick and Representative Miller and in support of the law, Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit seeking to strike down Texas’ new sonogram law (HB 15), which was originally scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2011.  Senator Patrick and Representative Miller were the authors of HB 15 in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, respectively.  Liberty Institute argued that HB 15 is consistent with The Supreme Court and only requires the disclosure of truthful and accurate information to allow women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies.

Read the Fifth Circuit Court’s Opinion here.

Download this press release here.

Video of Ceremonial Signing of Budget

July 27, 2011

Yesterday, Gov. Rick Perry signed the 2012-2013 Texas budget.  Here is the video of the press conference and ceremonial signing.  Kelly Shackelford, President and CEO of Liberty Institute, participated in the ceremony and his comments can be found at around 15:35 of the video.


Fox 7 Interview on Lawsuit to Stop Prayer Rally

July 14, 2011

Liberty Institute was interviewed by Fox 7 in Austin yesterday on the lawsuit filled by an atheist group, The Freedom From Religion Foundation, to stop the Prayer Rally in Houston that will be attended by Governor Perry.  Fox 7’s story on the lawsuit is here.

Gov. Perry Appoints New SBOE Chair, Cargill: Liberty Institute Applauds Pick

July 1, 2011

Click here to see Gov. Perry’s announcement. http://governor.state.tx.us/news/appointment/16340/

See Liberty Institute Statement here: LibertyInstituteStatementCargillChairAnnouncement

AUSTIN, Texas, July 1, 2011 – Today, Gov. Rick Perry announced his appointment of Barbara Cargill as the new State Board of Education (SBOE) chair. Ms. Cargill has served on the 15 member elected SBOE since her election by the people in November 2004, running as a Republican, and was reelected to her seat representing District 8 in 2008.  Ms. Cargill holds a Masters of Science in Science Education from Texas Women’s University and an undergraduate degree from Baylor University, and has worked in the field of science education for over 25 years having taught in two different school districts in the state of Texas.

Ms. Cargill was awarded the Thanks to Teachers National Excellence Award, the National Audubon Society Award, and the A.J. Sales Educational Award. She was a nominee for both the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching and the Science Teacher’s Association of Texas Outstanding Teacher award.

As chair, Ms. Cargill will lead the SBOE, currently comprised of 11 Republicans and four Democrats.

“We thank Gov. Perry for selecting a proven conservative and national award winning teacher in Barbara Cargill as the new chair of the State Board of Education,” said Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO for Liberty Institute. “During SBOE meetings, Ms. Cargill always treats her colleagues with grace and respect, while being fair and confident in her efforts to do what’s right for Texas schoolchildren.  She will make a fine chair for the State Board of Education for many years to come.”

“Ms. Cargill has stood strong against censorship of science teaching and attacks on the teaching of Independence Day, military leaders, and Christmas, while supporting history standards that ensure teaching about the U.S Constitution, our Founding Fathers, the religious heritage of our country and American Exceptionalism,” said Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs at Liberty Institute. “We also express our appreciation to outgoing SBOE Chair, Gail Lowe, who served the SBOE well.  It is a shame that 12 Democrat Texas Senators blocked Ms. Lowe’s confirmation this session, while the other 19 of the 31 Texas Senators supported Ms. Lowe. “

Liberty Institute frequently attends and testifies at SBOE meetings, and has led numerous efforts to inform Texans about important curriculum and textbook related matters decided by the SBOE for many years.

Note:  Texas Education Agency website used for biographical information.

Governor signs Sonogram Bill at Signing Ceremony; Most Significant Pro-Life Bill In Over Ten Years

May 24, 2011

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At a signing ceremony moments ago, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed the pro-life sonogram bill, HB 15, into law. Liberty Institute helped lead the charge to pass the bill, which requires health professionals to show the sonogram image of the growing baby to pregnant women seeking an abortion.

Liberty Institute attended the ceremony and released the following remarks:

“We applaud Gov. Perry and the Texas Legislature for making this life-saving bill a priority, said Kelly Shackelford, president and CEO of Liberty Institute.  “The sonogram bill – the most significant pro-life bill in Texas in over ten years – ensures that Texas’ outdated informed consent laws now accommodate technological advances and renewed concern for women’s health and well-being. The new law will save countless lives and guarantee women receive the most complete information possible before making such an important decision.”

“This strong pro-life legislation empowers women like never before and makes sure they will not be denied critical and important information before making such a serious decision,” said Jonathan Saenz, director of legislative affairs and attorney for Liberty Institute. “We thank Governor Perry, Representative Sid Miller, Senator Dan Patrick, and the numerous dedicated leaders in the Texas House and Senate that have made this legislation possible.”

View Liberty Institute’s full Press Release.

The Governor also released a statement:

Gov. Rick Perry today ceremonially signed House Bill 15, which requires a woman to have a sonogram before electing to have an abortion to ensure she is fully informed before making such an impactful decision. The governor designated the measure an emergency item for the 2011 Legislative Session. He was joined by Sen. Dan Patrick and Rep. Sid Miller at the signing ceremony.

“Every life lost to abortion is a tragedy we all must work together to prevent, and I commend Rep. Miller and Sen. Patrick for their hard work on this significant legislation,” Gov. Perry said. “This important bill will ensure that every Texas woman seeking an abortion has all the facts about the life she is carrying, and understands the devastating impact of such a life-changing decision.”

View the full statement: http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/16168/

Video of Governor Rick Perry signing the Sonogram Bill:

The Governor also released a statement with comments from numerous Pro-Life Groups that supported this legislation, including Liberty Institute, Concerned Women for America, Texas Alliance for Life, The Heidi Group, Texas Physicians Resource Council, Texans for Life Coalition, Justice Foundation, Operation Outcry-Silent No More, Christian Life Commission, Care Net, and Republican National Coalition for Life.

View the full statement: http://governor.state.tx.us/news/press-release/16169/

Governor Perry Signs Sonogram Bill into Law!

May 19, 2011

Today, Governor Perry signed the Sonogram Bill into law.  Special thanks go to Sen. Dan Patrick and Rep. Sid Miller for leading this vital effort in the Senate and House and to the many Senate and House members for their support of this life-saving legislation.

Again, thank you so much to all the Texans around the state that called their elected officials, sent them letters and emails, prayed, and personally visited with them at the Capitol or in their districts.  Thanks also to so many of people that we have had the pleasure of working with everyday at the Capitol here in Austin, on this issue.

Governor Signs Choose Life License Plate Bill into Law

May 17, 2011

Today, Governor Perry signed the Choose Life License Plate Bill into law.  The law creates a specialty license plate with the message “Choose Life” with the profits from selling the plate going to support abortion alternatives.  Special thanks to all the members that supported this bill, including Representative Larry Phillips (pictured above) and Senator John Carona who carried the bill in the House and Senate respectively.

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