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Con: New law will not decrease number of abortions

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
June 19, 2011 at 1:19 a.m.


Dissenters of the sonogram legislation argue the new law will have little effect on the statewide abortion rate.

Rep. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, who in recent months has publicly attacked the bill for embarrassing and shaming women considering abortions, said, "I don't think it will decrease abortions. If you want to decrease abortions, you should fully fund family planning services" like Planned Parenthood.

When the sonogram bills were initially introduced in the state house and senate earlier in the session, Alvarado said she thought they were "crazy."

And when Sen. Dan Patrick's bill was signed into law in late May, Alvarado concluded Gov. Rick Perry was aiming to appease his Republican base in preparation for a 2012 presidential run.

"It was political pandering on Gov. Perry's part," she said.

Alvarado also argued that the Texas legislature has other pressing political issues to consider, and the sonogram legislation only diverted attention away from other necessary legislative talks.

"I don't think we ought to be in the position of playing the doctor. It's overly-intrusive ... It's medically unnecessary," she said. "We have bigger issues to worry about, like balancing the budget."

Further, the abortion procedure as it exists today is sufficient, Alvarado said.

Women considering abortions are given pamphlets and counseling on the procedure, so additional steps in the already lengthy process are extraneous, she argued.

Victoria resident Amy Wilson said the law may have different consequences for women of varying ages and economic situations.

"It would have a disproportionate impact on younger women because they're more susceptible to pressure anyway," Wilson, 26, said.

Wilson admits she's unsure if she's pro-choice or pro-life, but agrees a woman's decision to have an abortion should not be legislated.

"I don't think it's anybody's business why people get an abortion," she said. "What it comes down to is when you think it's a baby or not."

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