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Judge tosses much of state's new sonogram law

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w8liftinglady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 05:46 PM
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Judge tosses much of state's new sonogram law

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled late Tuesday that parts of the state's new sonogram law are unconstitutional and has ordered that the state cannot impose penalties against doctors who fail to meet its requirements.

Under the abortion law, doctors are required to present an ultrasound image of the fetus to a pregnant woman and make the fetal heartbeat audible. If she declines, she must sign a waiver saying she has been fully informed of her rights. Even then the doctors are compelled under the law to give a detailed description of the fetal development, including organs and extremities that can be detected.

Sparks found that the state has no compelling reason to force doctors to tell patients details they do not wish to hear and that the doctor does not deem medically necessary. The judge also found that the rules were in some ways vague and contradictory so that doctors could think they were following the law but still run afoul of a prosecutors who had a more stringent interpretation. The penalties for physicians include a $10,000 fine and automatic loss of their medical license.
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-11 05:56 PM
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1. Thank you. Here is a bit from the pdf (judge's ruling) from your link...
Plaintiffs argue the Act violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments by subjectingabortion patients to visual, verbal, and auditory depictions of the fetus that they do not want, and donot consent to receive, and that are not part of the accepted and ethical process of informed consent. For the following reasons, the Court rejects Plaintiffs argument on this point.

The Act does not compel physicians to apprise women of the risks inherent in abortion,inform the women of available alternatives, and facilitate access to additional information if the women wish to review it before making their decisions; existing Texas law already compels such speech by physicians, in conformity with Casey. Instead, the Act compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen. These factual differences persuade theCourt that Casey does not foreclose Plaintiffs First Amendment challenge to the Act.

It does not require a tremendous creative leap to imagine a lawsuit in which such a certification would be not only discoverable, but also probably admissible at trial.
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