On Tuesday, a three judge panel of the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled to uphold a Texas law requiring that doctors describe ultrasounds in detail and play the sound of the fetal heartbeat, if a heartbeat is present, to women seeking abortions. In doing so, the Fifth Circuit overturned Federal District Court Judge Sam Sparks' August preliminary injunction blocking enforcement of the law.
The case was filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Texas medical providers challenging Texas' new abortion ultrasound law, which was scheduled to take effect September 1, in June. The Center for Reproductive Rights claims that the law violates patients' and doctors' First Amendment Rights by requiring "physicians to violate basic standards of medical ethics by compelling them to disregard the wishes of patients who do not want to receive this information."
Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, stated, "One of the most extreme mandatory ultrasound laws in the nation has now led to an extreme court decision on this issue. This clears the way for the enforcement of an insulting and intrusive law whose sole purpose is to harass women and dissuade them from exercising their constitutionally protected reproductive rights. Until today, every court that has reviewed similarly intrusive laws has ruled the laws unconstitutional."
The Center for Reproductive Rights can file for a rehearing within the next 14 days.
Media Resources: Wall Street Journal 1/12/12; New York Times 1/11/12; Statement of the Center for Reproductive Rights 1/10/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/31/11
10/17/2014 Student Activists Across the Country Are Fighting Extreme Anti-Abortion Ballot Measures - In Tennessee, North Dakota, and Colorado - three states deciding ballot measures aimed at restricting birth control access and outlawing abortion in the upcoming election - student activists are mobilizing to get out the vote.
Members of student-ledFeminist Majority Leadership Alliancegroup Vanderbilt Feminists at Vanderbilt University have been working tirelessly to get out the word about Tennessee's Amendment 1, which would take the right of privacy for reproductive rights out of the state constitution and give local legislators the power to restrict access to abortion, even in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman, and outlaw many forms of birth control, such as the IUD or the pill. . . .