- (Photo: REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)
Texas began enforcing a new law mandating abortion providers show or verbally detail to women seeking the procedure an ultrasound image of the unborn baby.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks allowed the law to be enacted after failing to block parts of the statue. He was forced to follow the federal appellate court's ruling in January that overturned his decision.
Many pro-life organizations, including Texas Alliance for Life, have supported the ruling.
"We're one of the organizations lobbying for the bill. We're glad that it's being fully enforced," Joe Pojman, the executive director of the Texas Alliance for Life, told The Christian Post on Wednesday. "It's just good policy."
Pojman added, "It raises the standard of care regarding informed consent for abortion to the same level that a patient would expect for any other medical or surgical procedure in Texas."
The law requires that those providing abortion perform an ultrasound on women, and either show or detail to them the image, as well as allow them to listen to the fetal heartbeat. Although women can refuse to see the ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat, they are required to listen to a description of the examination.
Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life, said in a statement, "Our Sonogram Law is the best chance we've had in decades to take pregnant girls right out of Planned Parenthood and shut down their filthy, evil business."
To date, six states have passed laws requiring abortion providers to carry out an ultrasound on all their female patients seeking to terminate their pregnancy, and offer them to see the image, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
It's been claimed that when pregnancy centers with abortion service allow women to see the ultrasound, about 80 percent of women change their minds about having the procedure.
According to a Gallup poll in May 2011, Americans are nearly evenly split on the issue of abortion, with 49 percent of respondents describing themselves as "pro-choice" and 45 percent describing themselves as "pro-life." The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, a pro-choice group, is seeking a re-hearing before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.