Skip to comments.Texas: Judge stays sonogram law (calls it state-ordered speech)
Posted on 08/31/2011 12:30:56 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
A federal judge in Austin on Tuesday ruled that key components of Texas' abortion-sonogram law are unconstitutional, stopping the state from enforcing it until a court rules on a legal challenge filed on behalf of several obstetrician-gynecologists.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said...the law, which was to take effect Thursday, violates the free speech rights of doctors and patients. He ordered that the state cannot impose penalties against doctors who don't fulfill its requirements.
"The Act's onerous requirements will surely dissuade or prevent many competent doctors from performing abortions, making it significantly more difficult for pregnant women to obtain abortions," wrote Sparks, granting the temporary injunction. "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 Act's stated purposes."
Attorney General Greg Abbott immediately announced he has filed a motion to appeal the ruling.
...Gov. Rick Perry said he has full confidence in Abbott's efforts to appeal.
"Every life lost to abortion is a tragedy, and today's ruling is a great disappointment to all Texans who stand in defense of life," said Perry. "This important sonogram legislation ensures that every Texas woman seeking an abortion has all the facts about the life she is carrying and understands the devastating impact of such a life-changing decision."
...To those women seeking an abortion, the law would have required doctors to display an ultrasound image of the fetus, make the heartbeat audible and describe the fetus' dimensions, cardiac activity and internal and external organs.
Sparks said all of those requirements violate First Amendment protections against state-ordered speech.
The Center for Reproductive Rights in New York in June filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of "Texas Medical Providers Performing Abortion Services,"......
(Excerpt) Read more at chron.com ...
More Kabuki theater.
You know, you’re beginning to annoy me.
The lawsuit against the sonogram law was filed in June.
Everyone knew this was coming.
Doesn’t it always with Leftist, activist courts? If they can’t block it in the state legislatures or win at the polls, Democrats ball it up in the courts.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had the motion to appeal the judge’s order ready to go and immediately filed it.
Gov. Rick Perry didn’t have to say anything. He could have said something about the appeal having to work its way through the court....blah blah.
But he did not. Perry made a very strong statement.
You are spinning and twisting and not an honest broker about this.
I imagine you feel quite smug about putting that nasty bit of business in the first post.
Good for you. I hope every one coming to this thread will read the entire article and in the future, view everything you post with a wary eye and an sense of doubt.
Rick Perry: shameless political thespian
Alright I guess I should digress before the Perrazis blitzkreig me....
Do you think the same judge would say ... ObamaCare ... violates the rights of doctors and patients by forcing them to purchase a product they do not want, interfere in the doctor/patient relationship, deny services that many need, and charge prices not set by the free market?
Nice.... You post an ABC report out of AUSTIN (hell, why not San Francisco or NYC outlet?) from 2009 when Sen Kay Bailey Hutchison (and Karl Rove and his team were pushing her primary challenge against Perry) — as evidence that Gov. Rick Perry does it all for show.
Like I said, viewers of this thread will make their own judgment.
Pelosi-Reed and the Democratic Party rammed it through and Obama signed it.
Now the states are coming after them.
Indeed. Thank you, CW for these informative posts.
You’re very welcome.
"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 Act's stated purposes."HTF would that be a possible result? I guess this is another continuation of the myth of the back-alley abortion.
It looks like the judge prefers to keep the women who murder their babies ignorant. Best they not be disturbed by knowledge of what they are killing. Best for the doctors not to lose potential income from the business of the murder of babies.
Keeping the population ignorant is consistent with Democrat policies and their disordered minds.
Animated billboards close to abortuaries could also make an impact.
How this is supposed to be different than the Surgeon General’s warnings on tobacco and alcohol, I am not at all sure.
This is a disappointing result, of course, but not necessarily surprising. There have been a number of cases in recent years in which judges (state and federal) have struck down laws that require crisis pregnancy centers to have a sign specifying that they do not provide abortion services or referrals. These laws have been overturned for similar reasons, because they infringe on the free speech rights of the centers by forcing them to engage in particular speech (e.g., a sign). It’s not terribly surprising that a judge would look at these sonogram laws the same way, and rule that they, too, force the clinics to engage in particular speech.
The two situations are worlds apart morally and ethically, of course.
I guess keeping the public informed is a good idea only some of the time.
So now, the doctors can skip the disclaimer that is given to patients about the risk of any procedure because it “violates the free speech rights of doctors and patients.”?
Am I reading this right?
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Wonder what this judge thinks of Truth In Lending laws?
Yes! Will someone tell me why it is logical to assume that less-skilled providers will be willing to meet the onerous” requirements that more-skilled providers wont?
Does this mean doctors don’t have to inform patients of the risk of an operation? Does this mean that we don’t need warning labels on prescription pills any more?
You’d have to be Reed Richards to stretch as far as that judge to make that ruling.
God bless Greg Abbott and Rick Perry. Prayers that their challenge to the ruling succeeds.
Women who have abortions eventually realize the enormity of their sin, and those who are moral and good suffer greatly in their penance.
Once a woman has had an abortion, she can never again say, “At least I never killed anyone,” when discussing Bill Clinton.
The plaintiff, Jane Roe, in Roe v. Wade found out all about these issues when she matured.
Abortion: spiritual death for the mother as well as literal death for the baby.
... let's try that again ...
Nope, the machinery doesn’t like that tagline ...
I don’t think you get it, Cincinatus’ Wife.
Perry is responsible for every action taken by every leftist everywhere, not just in Texas, not just in the US, but in the entire world.
After all, didn’t he build a burger?
Thank you CW for your tireless effort to keep things straight on Perryour not as perfect as some want but a damn sight better then the others running.
The biggest problem this country faces really is arrogant -- and extremely stupid -- judges.
I would appreciate any help from our FR lawyers in telling me where I’m wrong in my attempts at evaluating the ruling and, especially the order:
Part 1 http://wingright.org/2011/08/30/critique-of-judge-sam-sparks-texas-ultrasound-opinion/
There’s also the post titled, “Doing the work skilled providers won’t” http://wingright.org/2011/08/31/doing-the-work-skilled-providers-wont/ ( should have said “skilled abortionists.”)
From my heart, the post and my thanks to you.
I am thankful Greg Abbott and Governor Perry are working hard as a team on this, to keep sonograms as a part of a woman’s pregnancy experience, and I will be praying for them as they work through all they need to do.
I am friends with a director of one of the Texas crisis counseling centers, a private, Christian center that is obviously pro-life. She has said they put a lot of emphasis on having the sonograms done and that it not only helps with any possible medical issues but has also consistently brought reality to the soon-to-be mothers. The little mothers, well and I guess older ones too, can see that little precious baby inside their bodies, and my friend who is the director says it DOES make a difference.
What is more amazing to me though is what she was saying about the sonograms and the parents of the girls who accompany their daughters to the sonogram (something the clinic requires of minor children as a part of receiving services from them).
She says that even though some parents come in with their daughters with a strong desire to get this part of the medical care and counseling over with, some of those with plans to do what they need to do to “get rid of the baby through whatever means including going somewhere else for an abortion” (they also get referrals through schools so not all going there are Christians or pro-life at that time) that when the parents of these young girls see these sonograms, the reality of a real life there hits them as well.
After their sonogram experience, many of those parents, I’m told, are there to support their daughters through birth and adoption while others have committed themselves to helping their daughters raise their grandchildren and to helping their daughters get through life. It is amazing.
That result of seeing LIFE is probably why this policy is being attacked. The left wants to hide information, not give it, and that includes the kind of information that comes with a sonogram.
I am saddened to hear this honorable medical measure is being attacked by those who want to promote abortions, but I know our officials here in Texas will keep working to do all they can to protect the lives of these sweet children inside their mommy’s womb and ALSO their mommies and grandparents.
Thank you for such an informative and thoughtful post.
"Forcing Americans 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 the individual."
Say judge, will you make that statement on 0 bummer care? You started it, now finish 0 bummer care.
This “judge” has an inferior mind. This requirement is no different than the full disclosure requirements existing when you buy securities, or get a mortgage for your home. It is a case of fully informing the consumer. OVERRULED!
It's no wonder you want to try and smear other GOP candidates.
What hallmarks are those?
What hallmarks are those?