Yesterday the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of Texas medical providers challenging Texas’ new abortion ultrasound law, which requires that women seeking abortion services obtain and view an ultrasound. 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.”
The law requires that doctors show the woman the ultrasound. If the woman refuses to view the image, the doctor must describe it in detail and play the sound of the fetal heartbeat, if a heartbeat is present. Following the ultrasound, the woman must then wait a 24 hour period before obtaining an abortion. Women who live over 100 miles away from an abortion provider would only be required to wait two hours.
Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, stated, “This law barges in on the doctor-patient relationship. When you go to the doctor, you expect to be given information that is relevant to your particular medical decision and circumstances, not to be held hostage and subjected to an anti-choice agenda…This law is patronizing to women in Texas. It is based on outdated stereotypes that women are too immature or too incompetent to make important decisions.”