Mom weighs in against sonogram bill, just before going to the hospital to give birth
There is such an incredible disconnect between what Governor Rick Perry and the other Republicans in charge declare to be “emergencies,” and what an average Texan living his or her life deems one. This week’s episode: Dan Patrick’s sonogram bill passed the Senate today.
Senator Mario Gallegos opposes the bill. And while he’d planned on being in Houston today to be with his daughter Melissa following the birth of her daughter – his granddaughter – he’s instead in Austin to vote against the bill.
Knowing this was weighing heavily on Senator Gallegos’ mind, before leaving for the hospital to give birth, his daughter Melissa wrote Senator Leticia Van de Putte an email. Van de Putte is Gallegos’ Democratic Caucus Chair.
Melissa agrees with her father’s position on the bill, and it’s clear that she wrote the email to let her dad know that she supports him being in Austin to fight it, instead of being at home with his family today.
She isn’t a politico, like her father. She’s a mom. When she wrote her email yesterday, she was a pregnant mom. She’s a regular Texan, living a regular life with ups and downs, and wanted to weigh in on this, since she’s among those who is actually affected, as opposed to the author of the bill and most of the bill’s supporters in the Texas Senate, who are men.
Nobody on the floor of the Texas Senate is pregnant. Maybe Melissa Gallegos thought it would be good for them to hear from somebody who is.
Here’s her letter, which Senator Van de Putte read in the Senate during the final debate:
Dear Senator Van de Putte,
I am writing to you because I know my father might find it difficult to read this to his colleagues.
I am preparing to give birth to his 6th Grandchild and I know he wants to be here to see his grandaughter after she is born. But I would rather my father stay in Austin to vote against the Sonogram bill in its current form.
My father and I don’t always agree on issues and we have had a few heated debates on certain bills. And even though my sister currently supports Senator Patricks’ Bill in its current form, my father and I agree that this bill in its current form is not fair at all to women and their rights.
As a pregnant woman, I believe this bill is a tool to shame women into a different choice when facing an already-traumatic decision. No matter the circumstances that bring a woman to having to decide to keep a child or not, they should not be forced in any way to hear or see a sonogram. About to give birth to my daughter, I can appreciate the value of a sonogram and the special bond it can bring to a mother and child. But I can also appreciate the fear that a sonogram brings.
I have been in a situation where I was happy to be pregnant and went for a sonogram only to find that at four months pregnant, my unborn fetus had no heartbeat! Imagine the devastation that I felt, wanting a child and the doctor tells me that this pregnancy would not end that way. My entire world changed in 2 minutes, all because of a sonogram. Now imagine that every sonogram after that would set a whole new fear in my life and even though I have 3 beautiful children and about to give birth to my 4th, every sonogram I see holds a bit of terror for me.
I have a wonderful supporting family that somehow always finds a way to be with me when I have a sonogram and my mom still holds my hand when the screen turns on. But imagine the thousands of women that don’t have support systems or moms to hold their hand when the screen turns on. An unnecessary fear that this bill would bring about to thousands of women should only be an option.
I know my father cares about you and the other senate ladies he serves with, such as Senator Judy Zaffirini, Senator Wendy Davis, Senator Jane Nelson, Senator Florence Shapiro, and Senator Joan Huffman. He would not want any uneccessary fear forced upon you or your loved ones. I must leave now to the hospital, I will have one last sonogram before surgery, wish me luck and don’t worry I have someone to hold my hand and I know my father will be praying for me and his granddaughter.
Cristina will be born today and will wait for Papa to come visit her after he votes against this bill. Thank you for being a wonderful mother and Senator.
Daughter, and Mother of 4 now!
Rick Perry and the other Republicans in charge should get out more often and talk to the Melissa Gallegoses of this state. They might learn something.
And by the way, little Cristina was born in Houston yesterday, and both mother and daughter are doing just fine – without Rick Perry and Dan Patrick’s help. Her grandfather, Mario Gallegos, was on the floor of the Senate, voting against the bill.
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