More than 1,000 pro-life supporters marched to the Capitol steps Saturday on the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in support of legislation that would require women to see an image of their unborn fetus before attempting to get an abortion.
Gov. Rick Perry announced that the sonogram bill, which is also supported by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, would be an emergency item during the 82nd Legislature. Perry said 95 percent of women who get a sonogram before an abortion decide against it.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that I am designating the sonogram bill an emergency item,” Perry said. “The beginning of this legislative session marks hope that we can continue our work to improve our laws to save lives.”
State Rep. Geanie Morrison, R-Victoria, said Perry has passed more pro-life legislation than any other Texas governor, including the Woman’s Right to Know Act that requires doctors to notify their patients of the risks involved in an abortion and of the support programs available. Perry also supported laws requiring minors to receive parental notification and consent, bans on embryonic stem-cell research and the prevention of using state tax dollars on abortion clinics.
“These laws ensure women know all the facts before one makes the biggest mistake of their lives,” Perry said.
Perry said Texas can lead the way in overturning Roe v. Wade by passing legislation this session that ensures women make the right choice. Roe v. Wade was a 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy.
“Roe v. Wade gave women the constitutional right to choose,” said law professor Lucas Powe Jr. “Under the rubric of the Right of Privacy, it stated that the right was absolute in the first trimester, that the state could put some health regulations in the second trimester and that the state could almost ban abortions in the third trimester.”
Powe said the bill is likely to pass because of Republican majorities in the Texas House and Senate.
More than 1,000 anti-abortion protesters gathered on the Capitol steps for the annual Texas Rally for Life.
The College Women’s Political Caucus president Alyssa Davis said the organization backs Roe v. Wade and politicians who support legislation for women’s rights.
“We believe the state should protect a woman’s right to have an abortion if that is the ultimate decision [she] wants to take,” said Davis, a Plan II Honors junior.
Twenty statewide organizations made up the marchers who maneuvered the 10 blocks to the Capitol yelling, “Texas is pro-life” with signs that read “Women do Regret Abortion” and “I Regret my Abortion.”
“We’re trying to bring the pro-life issues and the support there is to the people who may be on the fence,” said Brian McCann, a member of Waco Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternity. “I’d like them to legalize living.”
The University Catholic Center’s Longhorns for Life participated in the walk and advocated for abortion alternatives and plan to write to lawmakers to pass pro-life legislation.
“We believe abortion is wrong because we think life begins at conception and shouldn’t be ended until natural death,” said vice president Niki Demkowicz.