San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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February 18th, 2011
Commentary: Sonogram bill more government intrusion into private lives



Senate Bill 16, a bill that would require a woman, who has already made the incredibly personal decision to have an abortion, to view a sonogram and listen to any heartbeat that may exist, is an unwarranted intrusion into that woman’s private life.

I am a traditional conservative who believes we should get government off our backs and out of our private lives — and there is nothing more personal or private to a woman than the difficult decision of whether to terminate a pregnancy.

Because I am a man and will never be pregnant myself or have that decision to make, I am uncomfortable with the fact that it is primarily men who are leading the charge to write laws about what a woman must do or must not do, when one of my gender got her pregnant in the first place.

Personally, I prefer adoption to abortion; I am the uncle of two young women whose two separate mothers several years apart gave each of them up at birth for adoption by my sister, rather than have abortions. I love my two nieces just as much as if my sister had carried each of them for nine months. They are family.

But I cannot, nor should the government, attempt to impose my moral or religious convictions on the entire female population of Texas as a matter of state law.

Once a woman, in concert with her family, her physician, and her clergyman has decided to terminate her pregnancy, I believe it is inappropriate and exceedingly intrusive in her private life to tell her by law what she must do in connection with that medical procedure. And I don’t believe her state legislator should be on that decision-making committee.

I represent nearly one million Texans in six counties who live in central and south Texas. Of that total, nearly 400 contacted me about the sonogram bill; over 350 urged me to vote “no,” while less than 30 urged me to vote “yes,” and of that number about half were men, people who, because of their gender, would never be directly affected by the law.

Clearly, the women of Texas are not clamoring to have more information with a sonogram. In fact, the overwhelming majority of women from Senate District 25 who contacted me asked that the state government stay out of their private lives.

And I cast my vote against the bill in order to do just that — have state government stay out of their private lives.

State Sen. JEFF WENTWORTH is a San Antonio Republican who represents Hays County.

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4 thoughts on “Commentary: Sonogram bill more government intrusion into private lives

  1. You said it all exactly right! Thank you so much (wish I lived in Hays County so I could vote for you).

  2. Senator Wentworth has previously championed a bill calling for sales price disclosure to make the property tax system more equitable. This was a courageous effort and much needed to make sure all (especially the rich) are paying their fair share of property taxes. The more I hear from him the more I like Jeff Wentworth.

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