Subject: Recent statement by director RE: TX sonogram law
I read this quote from the TX Right to Life Director in an article a few moments ago, “Graham acknowledged that trips to abortion clinics are emotional, traumatic times, but called the notion that providing information about the child's development puts too much pressure on women 'paternalistic nonsense.'”
I would like to point out that legislation that forces women to get an ultrasound, in spite of its lack of medical utility, and further mandates that women take time to think about the information gleened from that ultrasound, is far more parternalistic than not giving the ultrasound at all. Graham's point is that assumptions about a woman's ability to handle some level of information are paternalistic because they're unnecessarily protective. It's impossible to deny that the new sonogram bill makes its own assumptions about women who seek an abortaion. First, that they aren't thinking through the decision, and that the appropriate remedy is a government intervention to ensure they have at least a 24 hour thinking period. And second, that all women seeking an aboration must need audible and visual evidence that there is fetus growing in their womb, because, I don't know, that isn't terribly obvious the moment you find out you're pregnant (It is obvious). These assumptions about women are far more paternalistic, and frankly dangerous. These assumptions paint women who seek an abortion as categorically incapable of making an informed, thoughtful decision without state intervention.
I am offended as a woman for all women. We are not dumb, we are not morally corrupt, we are not thoughtless and careless. We definitely don't need the state's help in making the most private, personal and difficult decision some of us will ever have to make in our lives.
Thanks to the efforts of organizations like yours, not only is it now acceptable to pass legislation that intrudes on women's rights and personal lives, but you've also assisted in perpetuating the myth that women are somehow less capable of logical informed decision-making, and you've further managed to make “protecting women from themselves” a reasonable goal of the state. Who's paternalistic again? [sic]
Amy W., MS Bioethics