Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Yes Texas and only Texas has flipped its lid. First they want to pay you five hundred bucks to not have your baby aborted but adopted. Yep folks no matter how you look at it, that is baby selling. If you are determined to go through an abortion, they want to give you the third degree about it. Women, if you live in Texas, bit by bit you are losing your rights to familial privacy. No wait you still have it with adoption and safe haven laws. Then again just safe haven laws, maybe. Texas is also introducing a restrictive open records laws that Gladney and the NCFS is already threatened to kill it. If you want to know your children and if you still want the right to choose privately, call and write your legislature.

Abortion bill would require patient data
Legislature: 35 questions proposed, with criminal penalties for false info
12:47 AM CDT on Tuesday, April 3, 2007
By CHRISTY HOPPE / The Dallas Morning News choppe@dallasnews.com
AUSTIN – Lawmakers are considering ways to tweak abortion regulations and add rules that would ask doctors and patients to give the state data on everything from insurance payments to the woman's reasoning in seeking the procedure.
What some of the abortion measures up for discussion Monday would do:
• Outlaw abortion in Texas if the Roe vs. Wade decision is overturned.
• Remove "informed consent" requirements for cases in which a fetus has a "severe and irreversible abnormality" or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
• Require doctors who treat a woman for complications from an abortion to report it to the state.
• Require doctors who perform an abortion to submit extensive information to the state, including demographic data on the woman, such as her age, race, marital and immigration status, and previous births and abortions.
• Ensure that tissue is collected from aborted fetuses of girls 14 and younger to maintain evidence for prosecution of statutory rape.
• Require private doctors who perform more than 50 abortions a year to be specially licensed by the state.
The information is necessary to address the core reasons why almost 74,000 women have abortions each year in Texas, proponents said, and to tailor programs that could help them maintain their pregnancies.
Abortion-rights advocates said they fear the 35 proposed questions would be used to identify and target judges that grant abortions to minors, insurance companies that cover the procedures and doctors who perform them.
"These forms are burdensome and unnecessary. How many hoops do they have to jump through?" asked Laurie Felker Jones, spokeswoman for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas.
"Abortion care is already the most regulated medical procedure there is – and one of the most safe and common procedures," she said.
Ten bills discussed by a House committee Monday, lawmakers' major foray into the abortion issue this year, drew hundreds of anti-abortion advocates, along with dozens of those fighting for abortion rights, to the Capitol. The Legislature has passed substantial abortion limits in each regular session since 1999, when Gov. George W. Bush signed a bill requiring minors to inform a parent before obtaining an abortion.
Lawmakers have since instituted a waiting period, offered state-provided information for "informed consent," placed reporting requirements on some clinics, and required that parents must give signed permission for minors to have an abortion.
The Senate and House committees considering the bills did not plan to take action Monday, but their chairmen indicated they probably would in a few weeks.
In addition to the new form to be filled out by patients and their doctors, lawmakers also started debate on a bill that would outlaw virtually all abortions in Texas overnight should the U.S. Supreme Court abandon Roe vs. Wade.
'Something in place'
"I don't think it's very likely that they're going to overturn Roe vs. Wade, but if they do, I think Texas should have some kind of position – something in place until we could meet in legislative session," said Rep. David Swinford, the Dumas Republican who leads the powerful State Affairs Committee.
Proponents of the bill in Mr. Swinford's committee – including the Texas Eagle Forum, Texans for Life Coalition, Texas Catholic Conference and Concerned Women for America of Texas – see a different probability.
"It is only a matter of time before Roe is overturned," the group said in a news release supporting the legislation. "The state of Texas should do everything necessary to protect innocent human life."
Ms. Jones of the abortion rights league said passing a bill now, before even knowing the magnitude of a Supreme Court ruling, would be a mistake. And it would leave women who have unintended pregnancies in precarious situations.
"They will just be forcing women to seek out illegal, dangerous abortions," she said.
Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, said that he wanted to pass the data collection bill after some small changes are made.
The bill currently provides criminal penalties of up to a year in jail against a woman or a doctor who provides false information on the form.
Information about the reason for an abortion would be optional, although the proposed form does not say that explicitly. The form also asks for the woman to provide her city, county, age, marital status and age of the father – more than enough information to identify a patient in many small counties, opponents said.
That information, if the patient is a minor who went to court to get permission for the abortion, could also identify the judge who authorized the abortion.
Concern about judges
"It's about outing our judges. And it would endanger them," Dallas attorney Susan Hays told the Senate committee. She pointed out to Mr. Duncan that he represents 39 counties that have just one judge.
Elizabeth Graham of the Texas Right to Life Committee said it is illegal to identify an abortion patient and that the bill is intended to produce better information to make better public policy.
"In order for pregnancy resource centers and maternal health groups to better direct their outreach effort, it starts with better data collection," Ms. Graham said.
She said the questions are not intrusive and would help direct resources for what might be the underlying reasons that some women seek an abortion – whether because of an abusive relationships or the need for financial assistance.
"How can we address the problems if we don't know how big the problem is? This is a life-altering surgery. This is not knee surgery ... and we should do everything we can to reduce the causes for these types of surgeries, when they're elective," Ms. Graham said.
But Mike Hull, representing the Texas Medical Association, also said that the amount of information sought encroaches on a doctor-patient relationship. As currently written, it would take a doctor 20 minutes to fill out a form, and "the fence is too high," he said.
Sen. Florence Shapiro, the Plano Republican who sponsored the bill, said she would change it so that judicial bypass cases are reported statistically from nine judicial regions and not by county

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