When Republicans ran for office, they ran on a platform of reducing the size and reach of big government. They were adamant that government spending be reigned in and that government gets out of the health care business. However, now that Republicans have majority control over the Texas legislature, they pass bills such as House Bill 15 that forces all females living in Texas to undergo an ultrasound procedure prior to having an abortion. How the bill will be implemented is still vague, but there is the possibility that some physicians may feel forced by the new law to perform a transvaginal ultrasound procedure rather than the routine “jelly on the belly” transabdominal ultrasound. Almost 90% of all abortions performed in the United States occur during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, and a transabdominal ultrasound may not yield a clear view of the fetus and physicians may not want to risk violating the new law. There are after all stiff financially penalties, ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, for physicians who do not see and accurately describe the fetus to the woman prior to conducting an abortion. A transvaginal ultrasound yields a better view of the fetus but that procedure is invasive. It requires inserting a probe into the woman’s vagina to gain a better view of the fetus. In cases of rape or incest, HR 15 allows women the right to refuse to listen to the physician’s verbal description of the fetus but it does not permit women in Texas to escape the ultrasound procedure. Republicans currently controlling our state government have merged their religious morality, partisan politics, and the practice of medicine into House Bill 15. House Bill 15 relegates women to the status of second class citizens who have no voice and will be forced to submit to unwanted medical procedures. History has shown that men of all political parties and religions can harbor feelings that women are incapable of thinking for themselves or that they are incapable of taking care of their families without intervention and stern guidance by the state. This time around it’s Republicans who currently sit in the legislative chambers in Austin that are functioning as Ayatollahs forcing their own beliefs on women through archaic Sharia styled laws like House Bill 15.
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