Here's a little ray of sunshine
A federal judge today found that the Texas "sonogram law" violates the First Amendment and blocked enforcement of important provisions of the statute. This law would have forced women seeking to terminate a pregnancy to undergo a medically unnecessary and intrusive transvaginal sonogram. According to the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), which brought the case, the was certified against the law as a class action, and a preliminary injunction was granted until those areas of the case can be resolved. The Center filed a class action lawsuit against the new ultrasound requirements on June 13 on behalf of Texas medical providers performing abortions and their patients.
Judge Sam Sparks ruled that doctors cannot be penalized if they do not show a woman seeking an abortion the sonogram images, describe those images to her or play the sound of the fetal heart, if the woman declines this information.
In the opinion, according to CRR, he held that “the Act compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen.”
It also violates all tenets of common sense. As if women who are seeking an abortion are mental deficients who don't understand what they are doing...
In requesting the preliminary injunction, the Center argued that the ultrasound requirements violate the First Amendment rights of both the doctor and the patient by forcing physicians to deliver politically-motivated communications to a women seeking termination of pregnancy, even if she declines. The Center also argued that the law discriminates against women by subjecting them to paternalistic “protections” not imposed on men.
I'm sure they'll be trying to impeach this judge immediately. The Austin Chronicle reported earlier
In rejecting the latest attempt to file a friend-of-the-court brief, written by anti-abortion lawyer Allan Parker, with the the Justice Foundation, on "behalf of 317 Texas Women Hurt By Abortion," Sparks did not mince words – especially in responding to Parker's filing of a host of exhibits, including the picture of a "first-trimester aborted child," according to a list of the appendices, which Sparks has placed under seal.
"The Court has already turned down two extremely tempting offers to transform this case from a boring old federal lawsuit into an exciting, politically-charged media circus," he wrote. "As any competent attorney could have predicted, the Court declines this latest invitation as well."
Moreover, Sparks continued that he concludes Parker is not competent: "the Court is forced to conclude Allan E. Parker, Jr., the attorney whose signature appears on this motion, is anything but competent," he wrote. "A competent attorney would not have filed this motion in the first place; if he did, he certainly would not have attached exhibits that are both highly prejudicial and legally irrelevant; and if he foolishly did both things, he surely would not be so unprofessional as to file such exhibits unsealed."
Alas, that's exactly what Parker did.
They sound very foolish, but then these people are playing a very long game. And it's political not legal. They'll get plenty of mileage out of this.