AUSTIN?Gov. Perry on Jan. 24 added to a list of emergency items in the state House a bill requiring women in Texas to undergo a sonogram prior to having an abortion, placing it on a fast-track for early consideration in the 82nd Texas Legislature.
Perry announced his intention to hasten the bill’s consideration on Jan. 22 at the annual Texas Rally for Life in Austin commemorating the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationally.
Emergency status allows the House and Senate to consider the bill within the first 30 days of the session, which began Jan. 11.
“Under this legislation, introduced by Sen. (Dan) Patrick (R-Houston) and supported by House members like Rep. (Geanie) Morrison (R-Victoria) and Rep. (Kelly) Hancock (R-Fort Worth), a woman seeking an abortion must be given a sonogram ensuring she understands the full impact of her decision,” Perry told the rally, according to a news release on the governor’s website. “A decision that can scar her, physically and otherwise, for the rest of her life. When you consider the magnitude of that decision, ensuring someone understands what’s truly at stake seems a small step to take.
“Those of us here know that when someone has all the information, the right choice, the only choice, life becomes clear.”
In his speech, Perry lamented the estimated 81,000 Texas children aborted annually. “That’s a staggering statistic and it’s simply unacceptable,” he said.
Kyleen Wright, president of the Texans for Life Coalition, predicted the bill’s passage after a similar bill passed the Senate in 2009 but failed in the House.
“We will pass a comprehensive sonogram bill this session because of its strong support from the leadership and the members of both the Senate and the House. We are thankful for Gov. Perry’s emergency declaration because it helps ensure its passage before budget and redistricting issues overwhelm the legislature.”
“Abortion advocates are always urging us to trust women on this issue. Well, it’s high time we trusted them to have all the information before they make this forever decision affecting themselves and their babies,” Wright added.
Other emergency items announced by the governor are protecting private property rights and addressing eminent domain, abolishing Texas “sanctuary cities,” requiring voters to present proof of identification, and legislation to provide for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.