Monday, March 1, 2010

Proposition 5 on the March 2, 2010 Ballot

  The Texas Republican party has placed five propositions on their March 2, 2010, primary ballot.  These propositions are non-binding.  The propositions are not amendments to the Texas Constitution.

Ballot Proposition #5: Sonograms
The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring a sonogram to be performed and shown to each mother about to undergo a medically unnecessary, elective abortion.

Before I analyze this proposition, let me say that I do not believe in abortions except in extraordinary circumstances such as danger to the life of the mother.  However, I do not trust the government to make the judgment as to what is an extraordinary circumstance. I would rather leave it to the individual to choose.  There will be those who do not ponder their decision.  There are always those that abuse any system.  I believe our duty is to provide sufficient information and incentives, so that no abortions occur except in the most direconditions.  I agree with Bill Clinton that abortions should be "safe, legal, and rare."

There is the problem of vagueness.  What is a medically unnecessary abortion?  An elective abortion?  I think I know, but the terms should be more narrowly defined to avoid confusion.  A better drafted proposition would encourage positive response.

This proposition is designed to have the legislature put obstacles in the path of women seeking abortions.  The hope is (1) that seeing a sonogram will change a woman's mind and (2) the added  expense will keep some women from getting an abortion.  The first reason is totally valid.  The second punishes only the poor.

A proposition that discriminates on the basis of wealth has no place in America.  Poor women are entitled to the same rghts as wealthier women.  For that reason  I oppose this proposition.  I would support this proposistion if the sonogram were paid for by the state.


Photo by Daquella Manera

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