Senator Dan Patrick to Fight for Informed Consent Legislation
June 10, 2010

This is a news release from State Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) followed by a statement from Planned Parenthood 
 “For the last two sessions I have passed our bill out of the Senate with bi-partisan support. Even though we had the votes to pass in the House, it did not come to the floor,” said Patrick. “Representative Morrison is a respected leader who has a passion for this issue and I am proud to work with her on this important legislation.”   

Known as “The Sonogram Bill,” the legislation will require abortion providers to offer a patient a sonogram of her child, an explanation of the child’s current state of development, and the opportunity to hear the heartbeat before the abortion procedure. However, the patient can decline receiving any of these services.   

I am proud to join Senator Patrick in filing this bill for the upcoming 82nd Legislative Session,” said Rep. Morrison. “I am a firm believer that a patient, no matter the situation, should have access to all information available prior to any medical procedure.”   

“There is no other medical procedure that can better inform a woman about the health of herself and her unborn child than a sonogram,” stated Joe Pojman, executive director of Texas Alliance for Life. “It’s safe, it’s effective, and it is good policy.”   

Currently, 20 states nationwide have enacted a form of sonogram legislation, most recently including Oklahoma, and several states will be considering the legislation in 2011. In many states, the legislation seeks to end a common practice of denying a woman the ability to receive a sonogram image of her unborn child.   

“We require patients to be fully informed before agreeing to a medical procedure, but we do not require the opportunity for a woman to be fully informed about this most vital decision,” said Senator Patrick. “This bill will protect the health and safety of women across the state with the most important tool we have: information.”  This morning, Senator Dan Patrick (R-Houston) announced Representative Geanie Morrison (R-Victoria) will be jointly filing.

Rochelle Tafolla of Planned Parenthood of Southeast Texas Responds: 

” It’s not common practice to “deny” women from receiving an ultrasound or an ultrasound image.  This isn’t about “informed consent.” It’s all politics and politicians shouldn’t dictate how medical professionals provide care for their patients.  Doctors, not politicians, know what information and care is best for their patients.”