This is what happens when religious beliefs and influence seep into the legislative process. The state has no business inserting *laws* such as this into the private meetings between women and their doctors. Aside from the obvious attempt to discourage women from obtaining abortions as is our right in a *Free* country, what is there to be gained from this invasive nonsense?
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A federal appeals court cleared the way Friday for the immediate enforcement of a new abortion law in Texas requiring doctors to conduct a sonogram before the procedure.
The three-judge panel on Tuesday lifted a temporary stay issued by a district court judge who found the new law potentially unconstitutional, but did not issued a legal mandate. On Friday, the judges agreed to a request by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to cut short the typical three-week waiting period between a ruling and its implementation.
The new law requires doctors to conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion, to show the woman the image, to play the fetal heartbeat aloud and describe the features of the fetus at least 24 hours before the abortion. There are exceptions in the case of rape, incest, fetal deformities and for women who have to travel great distances to reach a doctor.
The most recent order does not give time for doctors fighting the law to appeal Jones’ decision, which under normal circumstances would not have gone into effect until Jan. 31. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which supports the doctors, did not have an immediate reaction to Friday’s order.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals order clears the way for the Texas Department of State Health Services to issue rules for complying with the law and to prosecute doctors who do not obey it…
As with most new regulations that are pushed through in the dark of night, there is no time for folks to fight or stop it. How ‘convenient’ that the judges agreed (on a special request from the AG, Greg Abbott*) to waive the standard waiting period before the new law is implemented. I’m sure there were no favors or golf-course deals that influenced this decision at all…
The article goes on to state -
One of the conservative supporters of the law, the Liberty Institute, welcomed the court’s decision not to delay the law any further.
“This court order means that the Texas sonogram law is to be enforced effective immediately, as it should be,” said Jonathan Saenz, the institute’s legislative director.
In case you’re not familiar with the Liberty Institute, here is a snippet from the “About” section of their website,
“Guided by principles that limit government and promote Judeo-Christian values, Liberty Institute was founded in 1972 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to protect freedoms and strengthen families by impacting the legislature, media, grassroots, and the courts with the truth.”
How much influence do they wield? Well…to hear them tell, it – quite a damn bit…
“In 2008, we expanded our efforts and opened our first satellite office in Austin, Texas, to have more influence in helping pass bills that favor traditional values and to stop those which would harm those values. Although much of our legislative advocacy focuses on Texas, where we have our roots, our work often has national impact as other states use us as a model in drafting and passing family values legislation such the Texas Marriage Amendment.”
“We remain committed to fighting for pro-family, pro-life and pro-freedom values through the courts, legislature, grassroots and media.” <–Do they really not see the hypocrisy of this statement?? They want to retain freedom…by restricting people’s uh…freedom.
As to the topic of abortion, here is what Liberty Institute has to say about it,
“Liberty Institute believes that every life is valuable, and that life begins at conception.”
“Liberty Institute also has helped pass parent consent laws and has also worked in Texas to pass the an informed consent bill that would require that all pregnant women seeking an abortion are given the chance to see the ultrasound image and hear the heartbeat of their growing child. We also successfully helped pass the Woman’s Right To Know Act, putting major informed consent provisions into law. We have also worked to pass legislation to offer the Choose Life license plate as an optional license plate in the state of Texas, the proceeds of which would be given to groups advocating adoption.”
Now, about those golf-course favors, I mentioned? Well wouldn’t ya know that a few minutes of digging around led me to this little gem of information concerning Texas AG Greg Abbott and Liberty Institute’s President & CEO, Kelly Shackleford, Esq. -
As an expert in constitutional law, Mr. Shackelford has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and Texas Supreme Court in addition to serving as co-counsel in numerous other U.S. Supreme Court cases.
Recently, LLI has been involved in numerous cases, including Van Orden v. Perry, where Mr. Shackelford assisted in heading Amici and oral argument preparation for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in his Ten Commandments Case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Source
I found article after article linking the two men together on common causes like banning gay marriage and pro-life (re: anti-abortion) advocacy work. I particularly enjoyed this story about a group of pseudo-religious zealots sharing a cozy afternoon on stage together -
“Kelly Shackelford, president, CEO and chief counsel of Liberty Institute in Plano, shared the stage in downtown Dallas Nov. 10 with former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The two, along with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, appeared before an audience gathered to support Heroic Media, a Dallas faith-based group supporting alternatives to abortions.” Source
But hey, like I said, I’m sure the connections are all simply coincidental and that this law was passed solely on its constitutional merits…right?
Nothing to see here at all folks…just ignore that stench of cronyism floating on the breeze of hypocrisy…and don’t worry at all about more restrictive and invasive legislation that only serves to ‘protect & defend’ our freedom and individual rights…
Er, well…’freedom’ as defined by those who think that Judeo-Christian conservative values are the only freedoms deserving of protection…and to hell with the rest of us heathens…literally…who are we to demand to have rights, too?*Abbott’s political career began in Houston, where he served as a state trial judge in the 129th District Court for three years. Bush appointed Abbott to the Texas Supreme Court, and he was then twice elected to the state’s highest civil court—in 1996 (two-year term) and 1998 (six-year term). Abbott resigned from the Supreme Court in 2001 to seek the open attorney general’s position in 2002.
I am not in any way advocating for abortions or ‘the murder of unborn innocents’. I believe abortion is a deeply private matter that should concern only 3 entities – the woman, her doctor…and if she is a believer, her God or Goddess(es) of preference. The point of this article is simply that another dose of restrictive legislation was forced through and passed in the murky waters of questionable connections with cronyism and backroom favors likely playing a big role in events. We are not a free country so long as special interest groups – religious or otherwise – get to use legislative connections to further their own agendas and THAT is the real point. That the law involves abortion rights is merely a side note to never-ending corruption and underhanded deals that slowly erode the foundations of freedom…