Abortion providers across Texas filed a class-action lawsuit last summer to keep the new Texas Sonogram Law from taking effect. Abortion advocates claimed that the law violated their First Amendment rights by forcing them to disclose certain information — information about the unborn children they are about to kill — to their abortion patients. The lawsuit was filed in pro-choice Judge Sam Sparks’ court, and Sparks ruled that the law would not go into effect while he examined the constitutionality of the law.
This morning, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld the Sonogram Law, and lifted Sparks’ injunction. The opposition desperately fought to keep the window to the womb closed since 70 to 80% of women will choose life after seeing the child on the screen.
Texas Right to Life Legislative Director John Seago commented on the ruling:
This ruling marks the turning point in this long court battle over the strongest and most effective sonogram law in the nation, empowering pregnant women with, accurate informed consent information before finalizing any decision about their pregnancy. This law will protect pregnant women from the routine deception practiced at abortion clinics, and women deserve the truth about the life in their womb.
Texas Right to Life’s directors attended the hearing at the Fifth Circuit Court in New Orleans last week when the three-judge panel artfully challenged opposing counsel about their push for reversal of the law. The panel ruled against the Center for Reproductive Rights, confirming that they “failed to demonstrate constitutional flaws in H.B. 15.” Furthermore, the panel said that the preliminary injunction set by Judge Sparks was based on two erroneous arguments: (1) vagueness and (2) unconstitutionality, and the judges recognized that the sonogram law is indeed an appropriate way to strengthen informed consent before an abortion:
To belabor the obvious and conceded point, the required disclosures of a sonogram, the fetal heartbeat, and their medical descriptions are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information. They are not different in kind, although more graphic and scientifically up-to-date, than the disclosures discussed in Casey — probable gestational age of the fetus and printed material showing a baby’s general prenatal development stages.
Extra bonus: Court costs were assessed to the plaintiffs!!!
Click here to read the panel's opinion.
Or click here to listen to the court hearing audio.