Whole Woman’s Health: Official Press Release Regarding the Texas Sonogram Bill

Press Statement           

Re:  Recent Ruling on Sono bill implementation from the 5th Circuit

13 January 2012

Whole Woman’s Health, LLC and its affiliated companies have provided quality reproductive health care in Texas for almost a decade. We are proud of our distinguished record of excellent medicine and compassionate support for women and families.  We know that every day, good women have abortions. We understand that facing an unplanned pregnancy is about much more than a medical experience for women. The feelings and values that women explore during this time are very important to respect. Whole Woman’s Health is committed to treating women with the dignity they deserve. What legislators and judges are doing in Texas is cruel and unjust to women and it is embarrassing in light of what America is supposed to stand for to the rest of the world.

The new Sono law in Texas is insulting to women. The law is offensive to physicians. These regulations are not related to medical necessity and they disregard women’s feelings and wishes. This law is not related to good healthcare and disregards physician’s expertise and specialized training. The people who support this law need to stop pretending it is about informed consent. Women who seek abortions know they are pregnant. Women do not choose abortion lightly. They know if they continue being pregnant the odds are that they will have a baby. Because they know this they are seeking an abortion. Women know the facts; 65% of our patients at Whole Woman’s Health are mothers already. They have seen many ultrasounds; they know exactly what a baby looks like. And because they know exactly what is involved in caring for a child, they are seeking to terminate their pregnancy.

Women have always had and needed abortions. Restricting access, cutting off insurance coverage, shaming and insulting women, and targeting abortion providers – none of it prevents abortion. Making women listen to the heartbeat and hear a description of the fetus is not going to change her mind about abortion. All it can really do is add another obstacle for women to navigate, and in the process, make her feel bad about her decision.

Women will do whatever it takes to get an abortion when they want or need one. They already fly or drive hundreds of miles to get the care they need, they already borrow money to help pay for their abortion. They sign whatever paperwork they have to, they watch whatever movie they have to, they listen to whatever script they have to, they come in how ever many times they have to – 2 or 3 or 4 days. And now they will have to make another trip, drive more, sign more forms, pay for more childcare, listen to the heartbeat and listen to a graphic description of the fetus.  But still, women will need abortions and women will do whatever it takes to terminate a pregnancy when they know in their hearts and minds that it is not time for them to bring a life into this world through their bodies. They always have, and they always will.

Women are good, heartfelt, ethical and moral agents. Women who seek abortion because they cannot care for a child are doing what is right and we all know it. The vast majority of Americans know women are ethical and compassionate and trust women to do what is right. We cannot stand by and let these wing nuts hijack the very values of liberty and justice that this country was founded on.

Shame on you heartless, cruel bullies. I challenge you to look into the eyes of a woman at her time of need and try and explain to her why this new law is supposed to help her. It is cruel and it is wrong. Every day good women have abortions in Texas, and every day Whole Woman’s Health clinics will be here to provide them compassionate care with the dignity and respect they deserve.

Amy Hagstrom Miller

Founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health