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.


CTxPAC coming February 3rd and 4th – Register Today!

January 17, 2012

Texans from all across the state will be convening in Austin, TX February 3-4, 2012 for the premier conservative grassroots event in the state, CTxPAC.   Liberty Institute is a founding sponsor of CTxPAC and our President and CEO Kelly Shackelford will be addressing the conference on Saturday, February 4th as well as leading a workshop.  Other founding sponsor’s of the event include Americans for Prosperity – Texas, FreedomWorks, New Revolution Now, and numerous Tea Party groups from across the state.  Just a few highlights of the event will include:

Great Speakers and Empowering Workshops: Hear from leading conservative leaders and have opportunities to meet conservative grassroots leaders from around Texas, get advice, and get up-to-date on the latest grassroots strategies and technologies.  Workshops will be conducted by Liberty Institute, Americans for Prosperity – Texas, FreedomWorks, Common Ground America, and others.

Presidential Town Hall and Texas Conservative Caucus: The conservative grassroots will make a historic pre-primary statement by conducting a caucus to choose a nominee for President. All registrants will be eligible to vote except discounted student registrants.  Invited Presidential Candidates and Campaigns include Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, and Ron Paul.  This will be an exciting, interactive event – so don’t miss your opportunity to join conservative Texans in voting.

Patriot Reception: Join us for this exceptional private reception that includes food, drink and entertainment. CTxPAC is over-flowing with opportunities to network and build relationships with other state and national activists and conservative candidates.  A highlight of the Patriot Reception will be the announcement of the Texas Top Ten Conservative Challenger Candidates.  Nominate your top 5 candidates here.

As we move into this all important 2012 election year, it is vitally important that we stay actively engaged and informed.  Be sure to check out all the event details on the CTxPAC website and you can register for the Friday night and all day Saturday events here.  Attendance is limited so please register today!


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.


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.


Conservative Texans Political Action Conference (CTxPAC) coming in February 2012

November 29, 2011

Texans from all across the state will be convening in Austin this coming February 3-4, 2012 for the premier conservative grassroots event in the state, CTxPAC.   Just a few highlights of the event include:

Texas Conservative Caucus:  The conservative grassroots will make a historic pre-primary statement by conducting a caucus to choose a nominee for President. All registrants will be eligible to vote except discounted student registrants.

Presidential Town Hall: With the primaries in Texas right around the corner from CTxPAC, the conference expects to draw presentations from top Presidential hopefuls.  Invited Presidential Candidates and Campaigns include Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Rick Santorum.

Empowering Workshops: Opportunities to meet conservative grassroots leaders from around Texas, get advice, and get up-to-date on the latest grassroots strategies and technologies.

Liberty Institute is a founding sponsor of CTxPAC, along with several other conservative organizations and tea party groups, and our President and CEO Kelly Shackelford will be addressing the conference on Saturday, February 4th as well as leading a workshop.  Be sure to check out all the details on the CTxPAC website and be sure to register here.  Attendance is limited so please register today!


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


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