Whole Woman’s Health: Official Press Release Regarding the Texas Sonogram Bill

Press Statement           

Re:  Recent Ruling on Sono bill implementation from the 5th Circuit

13 January 2012

Whole Woman’s Health, LLC and its affiliated companies have provided quality reproductive health care in Texas for almost a decade. We are proud of our distinguished record of excellent medicine and compassionate support for women and families.  We know that every day, good women have abortions. We understand that facing an unplanned pregnancy is about much more than a medical experience for women. The feelings and values that women explore during this time are very important to respect. Whole Woman’s Health is committed to treating women with the dignity they deserve. What legislators and judges are doing in Texas is cruel and unjust to women and it is embarrassing in light of what America is supposed to stand for to the rest of the world.

The new Sono law in Texas is insulting to women. The law is offensive to physicians. These regulations are not related to medical necessity and they disregard women’s feelings and wishes. This law is not related to good healthcare and disregards physician’s expertise and specialized training. The people who support this law need to stop pretending it is about informed consent. Women who seek abortions know they are pregnant. Women do not choose abortion lightly. They know if they continue being pregnant the odds are that they will have a baby. Because they know this they are seeking an abortion. Women know the facts; 65% of our patients at Whole Woman’s Health are mothers already. They have seen many ultrasounds; they know exactly what a baby looks like. And because they know exactly what is involved in caring for a child, they are seeking to terminate their pregnancy.

Women have always had and needed abortions. Restricting access, cutting off insurance coverage, shaming and insulting women, and targeting abortion providers – none of it prevents abortion. Making women listen to the heartbeat and hear a description of the fetus is not going to change her mind about abortion. All it can really do is add another obstacle for women to navigate, and in the process, make her feel bad about her decision.

Women will do whatever it takes to get an abortion when they want or need one. They already fly or drive hundreds of miles to get the care they need, they already borrow money to help pay for their abortion. They sign whatever paperwork they have to, they watch whatever movie they have to, they listen to whatever script they have to, they come in how ever many times they have to – 2 or 3 or 4 days. And now they will have to make another trip, drive more, sign more forms, pay for more childcare, listen to the heartbeat and listen to a graphic description of the fetus.  But still, women will need abortions and women will do whatever it takes to terminate a pregnancy when they know in their hearts and minds that it is not time for them to bring a life into this world through their bodies. They always have, and they always will.

Women are good, heartfelt, ethical and moral agents. Women who seek abortion because they cannot care for a child are doing what is right and we all know it. The vast majority of Americans know women are ethical and compassionate and trust women to do what is right. We cannot stand by and let these wing nuts hijack the very values of liberty and justice that this country was founded on.

Shame on you heartless, cruel bullies. I challenge you to look into the eyes of a woman at her time of need and try and explain to her why this new law is supposed to help her. It is cruel and it is wrong. Every day good women have abortions in Texas, and every day Whole Woman’s Health clinics will be here to provide them compassionate care with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Amy Hagstrom Miller

Founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health

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7 thoughts on “Whole Woman’s Health: Official Press Release Regarding the Texas Sonogram Bill

  1. i could not have said it better myself! We,the women of this nation, of this state, are allowing politicians to push us back 160+ years!! Our ancestors fought to give us our rights. Our civil rights. Rights that were held exclusivley for the men of this nation. They fought for many years to overcome gender inequality and allow us our civil rights. And now, we have a more than a few wingnut jobs (dirty politicians who really don’t give a rats ass about a woman, but who is more interested in gaining votes) are successfully trying to send us back to the stone ages. We will once again be forced to have babies, (you know, because they want to do away with birth control as a whole), shoot, eventually we’ll have to give up our jobs because we’re going to have to stay home and raise a brood of children, who will be on welfare, because the economy sucks. No birthcontrol=more babies. Crappy economy=more families on welfare. BUT our government is doing away with these fundings as well. So what are we to do????? It’s a viscious cycle, and until we WOMEN open our EYES and FIGHT BACK, we will be PUSHED BACK. I am a mother of two wonderful baby girls. I AM FIGHTING FOR THEIEIR RIGHTS. I AM PROTECTING THEIR FUTURE. I WILL NOT ALLOW someone to take away their RIGHTS. STAND TALL AND STAND TOGETHER. Let’s fight back, let our voices be heard. It’s time ladies. don’t just sit there and allow this injustice to continue.

  2. I’m with Kristeena here. Amy, this statement is exactly right, heartfelt, and true, and I’m spurred to act against the cruel and misogynistic actions by legislators who seem to stop at nothing to show their low regard for women and women’s choices. Abortion rights have become the easiest target for far-right politicians and pundits, and the less us progressives are willing to stand in the streets to fight, the more we lose those rights.

    Congratulations on writing a brilliant piece, and thank you for all you do. Now to spread that message around.

  3. You are absolutely right. Women WILL do whatever it takes to get the abortion they want – but you are also absolutely wrong. Women who have abortions are not good, heartfelt, ethical and moral agents. Define your terms. Is it ‘good’ to terminate a separate and distinct human life because you rolled the dice when you consented to sexual intercourse and were rewarded with the inconvenience of conceiving (you know, what our bodies were designed to do)? Heartfelt? Ethical or moral? Exactly how do you define ‘moral’ behavior? Is it moral for one human being to take the life of another?

    Legislating policy that requires a woman to understand exactly what she is about to undertake is a step in the right direction. Temporary circumstances should not dictate permanent decisions, especially when it involves killing your child (and yes, we all know it is a child).

  4. i’m not against a woman being educated, having the information she needs before making such a huge decision. Don’t you think they already thought long and hard? Do you honestly think they pee on a stick, see the positive sign and pick up the phone and say, “i need an abortion.” You are sorely misinformed. These women ponder over their decision for days,if not weeks. Sure,some only take a few days before acting, but those are the women that sit during counseling, (GASP! abortion clinics offer counseling?? who would’ve thunk that?!) and FIY: it’s not counseling that pushes abortion on women, it’s counseling that tunes in to the womans mind and body. Listens to her as a whole. But ANYWAY. I’m all for informing the woman. I’m all for education. But, don’t you think that she knows,”hey,that’s a baby in there!” A woman is not stupid. A woman knows that pregnancy=life. They know that, and yet they must choose for themselves. The RIGHT is theirs. I am a mother. I know that life is precious. But i also am a woman who found herself sitting in the waiting room of an abortion clinic, scared to DEATH about the decision I was making. Praying,talking to GOD. Asking for forgiveness. Talking to my unborn child, crying,asking for understanding and forgiveness. I could not afford another. I had a newborn at home. A new mother with a new baby. I was still trying to wrap my head around being a mother,trying to figure in school,trying to manage a new marriage. I was scared,and alone. When I walked into the clinic, I expected cold,dark,heartless people to receive me. But I was welcomed with open minds and open hearts. They listened to me and did not pass judgement. My mind had already been made,but I was given the INFORMATION that I needed,without needing to hear a heartbeat,or see an image on the screen. I know what a baby looks like, I know what the heartbeat sounds like. I did not need someone to FORCE that on me. The decision was hard enough. I still think of my baby. I still say a little prayer to him/her. When i rock my newborn to sleep at night, I am singing to ALL my children. The love,the connection doesn’t end that day. But of course, I cannot expect you to understand,because you have never been in my shoes, therefore, you cannot judge me. THIS is the message that all woman who have found themselves here before, want to tell you. YOU DO NOT KNOW.

  5. I am a christian yet I am pro choice. The state of Texas reminds me of all the christians that try to twist the bible & shame women into not having an abortion. Abortion is not a sin, & it is not shameful. I am scheduled to have an abortion & although I am pro choice, its something I NEVER thought I would do. I am having an abortion because the sickness is just so unbearable & the medicine they gave me doesn’t work & I have been in & out of the hospital for dehydration four times & I’m only 7 wks. This baby is causing me a lot of problems & I am ready to do what it takes to be a mom again for my son I already have. Although I feel this is what I need to do, I don’t think I should be confronted with an ultrasound of my child. I miscarried a baby in September after 5 years of trying so this decision wasNOT made lightly! Most women don’t think, “hey, I’m going to get pregnant today so I can get an abortion!” Abortion is hard enough already so why is the state of Texas making the experience even more traumatic?

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