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.


Texas Sonogram Law Ruled Constitutional

January 10, 2012

Breaking News — Texas Sonogram law ruled constitutional! The Fifth Circuit Court (Edith Jones opinion) holds recently enacted Texas Sonogram law constitutional. The Fifth Circuit reversed Judge Sparks, vacating his granting of preliminary injunction, which had stopped enforcement of the Texas Sonogram law.

Check back to the blog today for a full press release with quotes from the bill’s authors, Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller. Liberty Institute, on behalf of Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller, had filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the law.

You can download the 5th Circuit Court opinion here

Update: See here for Liberty Institute’s press release.


Sonogram Bill Goes Before 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Today

January 4, 2012

Sonogram_Picture_Texas_CapitolToday, the Sonogram Bill (HB 15) will go before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.  The State of Texas will be seeking to overturn U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruling that put on hold key provisions of Texas’ new sonogram law.  The Sonogram Bill, which requires doctors or certified sonographers to perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure, was overwhelmingly passed by the Texas Legislature and signed into law by Governor Perry this past legislative session.

Liberty Institute, on behalf of Texas State Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller – authors of the Sonogram Bill in the Texas Senate and House respectively, filed an amicus brief with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the law.  Liberty Institute argues that HB 15 is consistent with Supreme Court precedents and only requires the disclosure of truthful and accurate information to allow women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies.  Liberty Institute was also involved in helping lawmakers draft the best language for this legislation and provided legal advocacy at numerous legislative hearings on this matter when pro-abortion advocates tried to stop this effort.

Read the legislators’ amicus brief filed with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas Medical Professionals Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey.


Liberty Institute Files Brief to Support Sonogram Bill, On Behalf of Sen. Dan Patrick, Rep. Sid Miller

November 4, 2011

Today, on behalf of Texas Senator Dan Patrick and Texas Representative Sid Miller, Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief the in appeal of the preliminary injunction that put on hold key portions of Texas’ new sonogram law (HB 15). Senator Patrick and Representative Miller were the authors of HB 15 in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, respectively. Liberty Institute argues that HB 15 is consistent with Supreme Court precedents and only requires the disclosure of truthful and accurate information to allow women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies.

“Liberty Institute has been an important partner in passing this legislation since I first filed it in 2007,” said Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston). “I hope our work will finally be allowed to help the women and unborn children of Texas. I am disappointed that we have to wait even one more day for the protections we passed this last legislative session. I hope the Fifth Circuit moves quickly to allow women to be fully informed before making this life altering decision.”

HB 15, which requires doctors or certified sonographers to perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure, was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry on May 24, however, key portions of the law were struck down by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks.

“Just as doctor gives medically-relevant explanation of his or her patient’s condition before even a minor procedure, an abortion provider should offer such information to women seeking abortions,” said Rep. Miller (R-Stephenville). “I’m hopeful that all of the sonogram bill will be upheld, so women can be fully informed.”

Read the legislators’ amicus brief filed today with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas Medical Professionals Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey.

View Press Release


Senator Dan Patrick and Rep. Sid Miller interviewed on Texas Legislative Session

September 12, 2011

As part of our continued coverage of the recently completed legislative session, we will be releasing a series of sit down interviews with key conservative legislators that had an impact on important issues during the session. Our 5th and 6th interviews are with Senator Dan Patrick and Representative Sid Miller.  Senator Patrick and Rep. Miller, authors of the Sonogram Bill in the Senate and House respectively, discuss the victory we had this session in passing the Sonogram Bill. Senator Patrick also discusses the key efforts to support and defend the State Board of Education.


Texas Legislators Stand for Sonogram Law

August 5, 2011

Today, on behalf of Texas Senator Dan Patrick and Texas Representative Sid Miller, Liberty Institute filed an amicus brief in the lawsuit seeking to strike down Texas’ new sonogram law (HB 15).  Senator Patrick and Representative Miller were the authors of HB 15 in the Texas Senate and Texas House of Representatives, respectively.  Liberty Institute argues that HB 15 is consistent with Supreme Court and only requires the disclosure of truthful and accurate information to allow women to make informed decisions regarding their pregnancies.

“For years, women have been shielded from relevant information about their unborn child and the abortion procedure by abortionists who make money off of these women’s decisions,” said Kelly Shackelford, president/CEO for Liberty Institute. “This lawsuit seeks to ensure less information for women and is a sad attempt to continue the practice of blindfolding women who are considering abortion. Women should have a right to see the sonogram of their child.”

HB 15, which requires doctors or certified sonographers to perform a sonogram on women seeking an abortion at least 24 hours before the procedure, was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry on May 24, and is set to go into effect September 1. A federal court held a hearing on the law in July, but gave no indication of how it would rule.

“The sonogram brings Texas’ outdated informed consent laws into the 21st century by reflecting advances in sonogram technology and related fields,” said Sen. Patrick (R-Houston).  “Women must be given complete information about their pregnancies before making a life-changing choice regarding abortion.

“Just as doctor gives medically-relevant explanation of his or her patient’s condition before even a minor procedure, an abortion provider should offer such information to women seeking abortions,” said Rep. Miller (R-Stephenville). “This law protects Texans and empowers women with the critical and important information they need before making such a life-altering decision.”

Read the legislators’ amicus brief in Texas Medical Professionals Performing Abortion Services v. Lakey

 


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

May 24, 2011

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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/


Vote on Sonogram Bill in the Senate expected this week

April 26, 2011

The Texas Senate is expected to vote on the Sonogram Bill (CSHB 15) this week.  Now is a critical time to contact your State Senator. Please call your State Senator today to ask them to support this life-saving legislation.

Click here to find your elected officials, or you can download our Texas Legislative Guide with all of Texas’ elected officials contact information at http://legislativeguide.libertyinstitute.org/.  All Senators can be reached through the Capitol Switchboard at 512.463.4630

Check back on the blog for updates on the status of the bill.


Attacks on Texas State Board of Education Crushed by Texas Senate

April 14, 2011

Democrat Senator Rodney Ellis surprised his fellow Senators when he offered a floor amendment yesterday to “sunset” the State Board of Education, trying to attach this amendment to a bill that had nothing to do with the State Board of Education.  Thankfully, leaders in the Senate, particularly Republican Senators Florence Shapiro and Jane Nelson, vigorously fought off the sneak attack, and the Senate emphatically rejected this effort and voted it down.  Please call Sen. Nelson and Sen. Shapiro and thank them and remind your Senator that you support the SBOE and you want Gail Lowe to be confirmed as SBOE Chairman, by the Senate!

This week, we also fought against an effort to give unelected education elites influence for our K-12 curriculum standards, like social studies, a role currently left to our elected SBOE.  HB 862, by Rep. Diane Patrick also seeks to “sunset” the SBOE but it has found no support thus far in the House and we are strongly opposed to its passage.

Finally, the Sonogram bill (HB 15) has now passed the Senate committee and is scheduled for a full Senate vote next week!


Texas Sonogram Bill Passes State Senate Committee

April 12, 2011

We supported this bill, HB 15, at the hearing on Monday.


Sonogram Bill in Senate Committee today

April 11, 2011

Today, the Senate State Affairs Committee will take up the House version of the Sonogram Bill (HB 15) that has already passed the Texas House.  This is the first movement on this bill in several weeks, and we are excited to see the Sonogram Bill continuing to move ahead.  We will be testifying in favor of this bill today at the hearing.

Please call your State Senator today to ask them to support this life-saving legislation.  Click here to find your elected officials, or you can download our Texas Legislative Guide with all of Texas’ elected officials contact information at http://legislativeguide.libertyinstitute.org/

Check back on the blog today for updates from the hearing.


Texas Sonogram Bill is on the Move Again!

April 6, 2011

Yesterday, the Texas Senate referred HB 15, the House version of the Sonogram Bill, to the Senate State Affairs Committee.  This is the first sign of movement on this bill in the past 4 weeks, after the House and Senate versions of the Sonogram bill got off to a rocket start.  We expect that a hearing will be scheduled soon on HB 15, in Senate State Affairs.   This also appears to signal that the Senate will take up the House version and decide if any changes need to be made to such version.  We are excited that the Sonogram bill is once again on the move!

 


Life, Choices & Bullies: Legislative Weekly Wrap-Up

March 4, 2011

The legislative week ended on a high note, with the Texas House passing the House version of the Sonogram Bill, HB 15 by Rep. Sid Miller, by a vote of 103-42. 

Thank you to all the pro-life legislators that held firm!  Click here for recorded vote details.  Opponents of this informed consent bill were able to delay the result by almost two days, but they knew all along that HB 15 would pass.  The Choose Life License Plate bill passed the Senate Health & Human Services committee, and the House version is expected to pass next week.  We supported both bills at the hearings. 

In a public hearing this week, we vigorously opposed HB 224, an effort that has the potential to protect some categories of people (transgender, bisexual), but not others.  HB 224 is being pushed as an anti-bullying bill, but it is very problematic, including a section that allows schools to help students hide bullying information from their parents.  HB 224 is so hostile to constitutional rights, that even the ACLU opposed it! The story on this bill has gone national as the LGBT community clearly has HB 224 as one of their top priorities to pass. The LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) lobby will be bombarding legislative offices next Monday to push for HB 224.  http://hq-equalityfederation.salsalabs.com/o/35034/blastContent.jsp?email_blast_KEY=4215


%d bloggers like this: