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North Carolina's Ultrasound Law Struck Down By Federal Court

Friday's court ruling struck down North Carolina's ultrasound law requiring doctors to lecture women seeking abortion on ultrasound images.
North Carolina's Ultrasound Law Struck Down By Federal Court
Image from: DeviantArt

The men crafting these evil anti-abortion laws only pay lip service to the Constitution, while proclaiming liberty for everyone but women and their doctors.

The latest proof came Friday, in the form of a strongly-worded ruling from a federal judge who ruled that North Carolina's ultrasound law violated the first amendment. The law required women to listen to a scripted lecture from their doctor while an ultrasound was administered.

Federal judge Catherine Eagles struck down the provision, citing the First Amendment. From the ruling, Eagles wrote "the Supreme Court has never held that a state has the power to compel a health care provider to speak, in his or her own voice, the state's ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term, and this Court declines to do so today."

She went on to point out why such a law violates the Constitution, writing "to the extent the Act is an effort by the state to require health care providers to deliver information in support of the state's philosophic and social position discouraging abortion and encouraging childbirth, it is content- based, and it is not sufficiently narrowly tailored to survive strict scrutiny. Otherwise, the state has not established that the speech-and-display provision directly advances a substantial state interest in regulating health care, especially when the state does not require the patient to receive the message and the patient takes steps to avoid receipt of the message."

In other words, the state doesn't get to tell doctors how to talk to their patients or what the content of their conversations should be, no matter how many zealots happen to sit in the North Carolina legislature. That last bit referred to legislators' claim that women could turn their heads away from the image and "refuse to hear," which evokes images of a woman, naked from the waist down, turning her head away and putting her fingers in her ears while the doctor droned on and on. Because liberty.


The law would have required abortion providers to perform an ultrasound and place the image in the woman’s line of sight. The provider would then be required to describe the embryo or fetus in detail, even if the woman asked the doctor not to, and to offer the woman the opportunity to hear the “fetal heart tone.”

“The state should not be using women’s bodies as political pawns,” said Andrew Beck, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “As a result of the court’s decision, doctors will be able to continue to give their patients the kind of conscientious medical care they deserve.”

I'm sure Art Pope is crying in his private Chapel of Gold tonight.

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