Skip to comments.Judge strikes down key parts of Texas abortion sonogram law
Posted on 08/30/2011 6:23:15 PM PDT by Hawk720
A federal judge on Tuesday blocked key provisions of Texas' new law requiring a doctor to perform a sonogram before an abortion, ruling the measure violates the free speech rights of both doctors and patients.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks upheld the requirement that sonograms be performed, but struck down the provisions requiring doctors to describe the images to their patients and requiring women to hear the descriptions.
The law made exceptions for women who were willing to sign statements saying they were pregnant as a result of rape or incest or that their fetus had an irreversible abnormality. Sparks questioned whether the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature was trying to "permanently brand" women who are victims of sexual assault.
The law one of dozens of anti-abortion measures that advanced through state capitals across the United States this year takes effect Thursday. The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights had sued to block it.
Supporters argued the law ensures women fully understand what an abortion entails and said some women have regretted having abortions. They said the law would lead to fewer abortions in Texas. About 81,000 abortions are performed every year in Texas.
Opponents argued that requiring doctors to describe a fetus' features would force them to say things against their will and would violate medical ethics requiring doctors to respect a patient's autonomy and act in the patient's best interest.
(Excerpt) Read more at msnbc.msn.com ...
doctors have free speech NOT to inform their patients about the hazards of an operation??
It twists my brain to try to figure out how withholding information and lying to women violates medical ethics, respects patient autonomy, or constitutes acting in the patient's best interest.
This will probably nullify dozens of medical malpractice laws across the country if it stands.
We have lost the fight on the definition of free speech. It is everything that it was never intended to be.
Once again...Fed judge stepping all over the 10th Amendment...
The order is here http://www.austinchronicle.com/documents/ultrasound.order.pdf
The longer opinion is here http://www.austinchronicle.com/documents/sparks.opinion.pdf
As to Judge Sparks’ opinion that the Texas ultrasound bill will permanently brand women who choose to get an abortion:
Arent medical records private? How histrionic can this judge be? The womans statement will be part of her medical record. No one will see it except the abortionist.
He also said something to the effect that the doctors First amendment rights are infringed by State mandated informed consent. Please tell that to all of the doctors who have followed a strict Texas law on informed consent for hysterectomies, sterilization, radiation therapy and electric shock therapy.
I am sick and tired of these federal judges injecting their politics into LOCAL AND STATE ISSUES.
This shows WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR US TO WIN THE CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE...not just one or the other.
I want these federal power grabbers impeached and removed. They need to be LEARN the ENTIRE constitution and respect it, or be removed from the bench.
putting all the other legal problems asside for the moment...
how in the heck does the The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights having standing to sue in this case?
>> We have lost the fight on the definition of free speech.
We lose only when we quit.
Judge Sam Sparks was nominated by George HW Bush in 1991, and was the judge who ruled that Tom DeLay had to stay on the ballot as the Republican candidate in 2006
More communists judges at work.
Governor Perry and Gregg Abbott immediately announced their intention to appeal.
Governor Perry wrote an entire chapter in “Fed Up!” about “Nine Unelected Judges Who Tell Us How to Live.”
He also has some ideas about how to overturn these ridiculous rulings and take back our ability to decide our own way of life in Chapter 10, “Retaking the Reins of Government: Freedom and Federalism for the Future:”
“Third, we should take steps to restrict the unlimited power of the courts to rule over us with no accountability. There are a number of ideas about how to do this. Of course, the first thing we must do is support only nominees to the bench who actually believe in the Constitution. But we should also consider and ultimately adopt some actual reforms. One such reform would be to institute term limits on what are now lifetime appointments for federal judges, particularly those on the Supreme Court or the circuit courts, which have so much power. One proposal, for example, would have judges roll off every two years based on seniority. Other ideas include requiring the judges to have to stand for reappointment and reconfirmation. Another idea is to allow Congress to override the Supreme Court with a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate, which risks increased politicization of judicial decisions, but also has the benefit of letting the people stop the Court from unilaterally deciding policy.
“Not as often discussed, but equally interesting, would be a clarifying amendmentor series of amendmentsto the Constitution. Such an amendment might, for example, clarify the scope and intent of the Fourteenth Amendment. As I have discussed, the Fourteenth Amendment is abused by the Court to carry out whatever policy choices it wants to make in the form of judicial activism. By passing a clarifying amendment, the people could speak with one voice about what powers they truly wish the federal government to have with respect to many important issues.”
Perry, Rick; Newt Gingrich (2010-11-15). Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington (pp. 183-184). Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
I wonder if some time in the future Roe V Wade might be used as an example of extreme judicial misconduct. They simply made it up out of thin air and even then it clearly violated the 10th amendment.
It plainly and simply allowed the murder of children who were particularly innocent and defenseless. Now we have the government paying these ghouls to kill all they can.
A more perfect example of pure evil will never be found.
They represented all the abortionists in Texas, in the name of three doctors, Lyerly, Grimes, and Braid.
After all, not all the abortionists even live in Texas, and they sure can’t be bothered to come on down to the Court. It might interfere with killing day.
I am hoping once we have the majority in the senate Kagan is impeached...she lied about so many points in her hearings...besides, a bull dike shouldn't be on the USSC.
That is because you are not a brain dead moron who believes everything they are told by the Rats. Rational thought is beyond liberals’ ability. They are the bleating sheep of Animal Farm.
It twists mine as well.
Only one of those abortionists are from Texas.
Sparks decided that its not really important for the Plaintiffs to be someone actually harmed by the Law. He approved the class action suit filed by a New York State corporation, The Center for Reproductive Rights, who filed a class action suit on behalf of all the abortionists in Texas, supported by affidavits from three abortionists:
1. Alan R. Braid, MD is the only one of the three who lives and works in Texas. He owns a privately owned abortion clinic in San Antonio, Reproductive Services, S.A. http://www.reproductiveservicessa.com/
2. David A. Grimes, MD, inventor of the partial birth abortion and instructor in family planning and OBGyn at the University of North Carolina. In 1995, Grimes testified in favor of forcing residency programs and residents to perform and train doctors in abortion http://www.nchla.org/issues.asp?ID=28 “Making abortion training a routine part of any residency...will put abortion back in the mainstream of medicine.”
3. Anne D. Lyerly, MD, from the University of North Carolina at Chapell Hill, who was once the chair of the ethics committee of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She testified *against* conscience rights before the Bush Presidents Bioethics Council in 2006.
If R. v. W. isn’t found to be gross misconduct, this ruling should be. Sparks can’t resist a revealing his prejudice and mocking the legislature.
Citing Planned Parenthood of Se. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 846 (1992), a US Supreme Court ruling on abortion limitations and Equal Protection, Sparks admits,
This legitimate interest obviously justifies singling out abortion providers and the patients thereof, because they pose a serious potential risk to the life of the fetus that may become a child.’
However, he goes on to admit his prior bias:
“The Court has grave doubts about the wisdom of the Act, but that is no legal basis for invalidating it. The Acts onerous requirements will surely dissuade or prevent many competent doctors from performing abortions, making it significantly more difficult for pregnant women to
obtain abortions. Forcing pregnant women to receive medical treatment from less-skilled providers certainly seems to be at odds with protecting the physical and psychological health and well-being of pregnant women, one of the Acts stated purposes. H.B. 15, Sec. 12(1). However, rational basis review requires this Court to accept even tenuous rationales for the advancement of a legitimate
In short, if the Texas Legislature wishes to prioritize an ideological agenda (2) over the health and safety of women, the Equal Protection Clause does not prevent it from doing so under these circumstances. Accordingly, the Court must reject Plaintiffs Equal Protection arguments. (p. 20/55)
That footnote (2) ?
“2 It is ironic that many of the same people who zealously defend the states righteous duty to become intimately involved in a womans decision to get an abortion are also positively scandalized at the governments gross overreaching in the area of health care.”
So the sonogram will still be performed, but the dr. will just not be able to point out the image of the baby?
As far as I can figure it, the judge didn’t like the penalties and engaged in a bit of ideology by claiming that the law “advances an ideological agenda,” by requiring the abortionist to describe any cardiac activity or the presence of limbs. How can a doctor “ideologically disagree” with the facts of these findings, if they are on the sonogram?