Texas' Sonogram Law

A federal judge, appointed by Texan George H.W. Bush has gutted key parts of a new law that was to have gone in to effect in Texas on Thursday, requiring women to procure a sonogram 24 hours in advance of an abortion and requiring the doctor to explain what the sonogram shows to women planning an abortion.

As a First Amendment stickler, I agree with the judge that forcing any citizen to deliver government-approved speech is problematic. But problematic is not decisive. After all, we require cigarette companies, among many other producers, to put warning labels on their products.

But, the Sonogram Law exposes the hypocrisy of the pro-choice crowd. These are the people who are championing "science" in other debates, as in the discussion over mandated care under the Affordable Care Act or the debate on embryonic stem cell research. But, when science, in hte form of a sonogram, gives the lie to the idea that there is something other than a baby in the mother's womb, well, that is government intrusiveness.

I have previously called attention to these powerful words written in the immediate aftermath of Roe v. Wade in 1973, by Daniel Callahan in an article in Commonweal about the moral coarsening the abortion debate had occasioned.

"I am willing - no, well prepared - to grant her that right [to an abortion] under law," Callahan wrote. "I only ask that the society that grants this right be prepared to look with unblinking eye at just what it is doing, not deceiving itself for one moment about even one aspect of what a granting of that right does...[I predict] in the best 1984 tradition, a reconstruction of history. This is done by creating a highly charged mythology of male repression, or religious persecution, or puritanical fanaticism (i.e., whichever cue serves best at the moment to induce popular frenzy)...and, not incidentally, values are reconstructed by making the value of a potential human life being dependent upon being wanted by its mother."

Sadly, Callahan was prescient and the pro-choice objection to the Sonogram Law indicates precisely the self-deception Callahan predicted.


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