Access to Ultrasound

Testimony in Support of SB 16

Good morning Mr. Chairman and members, my name is Andrew Rivas and I am the executive director of the Texas Catholic Conference. The TCC is the statewide association of the 15 Roman Catholic dioceses in our state and it is our responsibility to advocate for the public policy positions of all the Bishops of Texas.
First, let me begin by thanking you Mr. Chairman, and the committee, for allowing me to testify today on Senate Bill 16. As many of you are aware, the Catholic Church teaches that life is a precious gift given to all of us from our Creator. It is a gift that should be nurtured and protected at all stages.  It is a sad fact that in our society, innocent human life is threatened at its very earliest stage through the widespread use of abortion, which murdered the lives of 80,000 children in Texas in 2008, the most recent year that data is available. This is more than the total population of the city of College Station. 3,000 of these abortions were performed on minors. Laws must be in place that protect the life of the unborn child, and that educate mothers who may not realize that the life in their womb is exactly that – a unique, irreplaceable human life – not a soulless glob of tissues or something akin to a malignant tumor.
The Texas Catholic Conference supports SB 16 as an approach to help reduce abortion rates in Texas by giving mothers access to their ultrasound images, with the hope that these images will help mothers realize the humanity of their unborn children and choose life. SB 16 would require a physician, or the physician’s agent, to provide printed material for a woman to review at least twenty four hours before an abortion can be performed. The bill would also require the physician performing the abortion to review a mother’s ultrasound with her at least two hours prior to her having an abortion. The mother is not required to view the ultrasound.
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