A federal judge on Tuesday struck down a key provision of Texas' new law requiring a doctor to perform a sonogram before an abortion, ruling that the measure violates the free speech rights of both doctors and patients.
- NY TIMES, 8/30/11
A sonogram? That's it?
Frankly, Texas, I'm embarrassed. That's the best you could do? A sonogram? You thought you could talk a woman out of a pregnancy with the emotional tug of an image that has all the clarity of a polaroid from a 1983 New Year's Eve party? I've had friends show me their sonogram pictures and thought I was looking at a moon-landing conspiracy pamphlet. Is that the baby's foot or is Neil Armstrong taking a leak off a lunar crater?
I mean, if you're going to guilt women into keeping their baby I think you need to raise the stakes a little higher than a Rorschach blot. Why stop there? Think of the possibilities!
INT. DOCTOR'S OFFICE
A 23-year-old woman lies back as sonogram equipment slides along her mid-section.
YOUNG WOMAN: "I...I'm sorry doctor. The timing of it all. I just...I can't have this baby."
DOCTOR: "Of course. I understand. Now under state law, I'm legally obligated to show you this image of your unborn child.
YOUNG WOMAN: "Yes, I understand, but I've made my decision. If we could just..."
DOCTOR: "Hold on now, missy. If you'll just turn toward the monitor over there. This is your unborn child at six weeks. And now...here we are at five years old!
CUT TO: Adorable five-year-old girl appears on monitor. Honey blonde, dimples for days. She's holding a Mother's Day card made out of crepe paper and macaroni shells.
YOUNG WOMAN: "Uh..."
DOCTOR: "And if you'll just stay with me here for a second. Hi-yo! Here we go. Looks like you've got a Prom Queen growing up in there.
CUT TO: A stunning 17-year-old waves to her royal court. Her obviously popular and very heterosexual boyfriend Chad at her side.
DOCTOR: "Oh my gosh, what's that in his hand? An engagement ring?!? Oh Chad, you didn't!!"
YOUNG WOMAN: "OK, I think we're getting a little ahead of ourselves here. I'm actually due back in the office later today so..."
CUT TO: 38-year old "Kristie" getting sworn in as the first female President Of The United States Of America.
DOCTOR: "Look at you mouthing along the oath."
YOUNG WOMAN: "Seriously, I have to go. Do you validate parking?"
DOCTOR: "And here she is donating you a kidney. Wow, you're a lucky woman..."
CUT TO: Mother and Daughter on adjoining hospital beds, pre-surgery. Both give a courageous thumbs-up to camera.
YOUNG WOMAN: [speechless]
DOCTOR: "OK, that concludes our legal obligation. Oh wait, I almost forgot, Nurse Mary is printing out the wallet-sizes you are legally entitled to, and of course you can grab your statutorily-authorized World's Greatest Mom coffee mug out in reception."
Your move, Texas.