5th Circuit Says Forced Sonograms Prior To Abortion Constitutional

A Texas law that mandates women seeking an abortion receive a pre-abortion sonogram that is intended to pressure women to continue with her pregnancy was ruled constitutional by a federal appeals court, reversing an earlier order that enjoined the law from being enforced.  In August, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks held the law violated the First Amendment by improperly requiring doctors and patients to engage in government-mandated speech.

But the Fifth Circuit disagreed, holding the law fell within the power of the state to regulate abortion, sparking controversy almost the minute it was delivered.

Chief Justice Edith Jones wrote the opinion and may be best known for a ruling that  upheld a Texas high school that kicked a cheerleader off her squad after she refused to chant the name of a basketball player that raped her.

The Texas law has become known as the  “rape by the state” law and with good reason. The procedure passed, and now upheld as constitutional, will in most cases require a transvaginal probe in order to comply. That is because about 88 percent of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks of a pregnancy. Because the fetus is so small at this stage a traditional ultrasound performed on the wall of the abdomen with jelly cannot produce a clear image.

That means the Texas law mandates that a woman will be vaginally penetrated without an opportunity to refuse, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals thinks this is constitutional.

 

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Photo from silviadinatale via flickr

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158 comments

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle3 years ago

This just shows that judges aren't necessarily the brightest bulbs in the population. A woman makes a decision to have an abortion and then she contacts a provider -- the state has NO right to interfere IN ANY WAY with her decision, except to have as law, safe abortion providers.

Debbie Crowe
Debbie Crowe4 years ago

This is WRONG in so many ways. I thought we, as women, were in charge of our bodies. I guess not.

KS Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Gina P.
Regina P.4 years ago

I'm not real surprised this happened in Texas - considering the types of politicians we get from there.

joe M.
joe MARTINEZ4 years ago

Ira: Thank you! Now we need to convence the 99% to vote Democrat and not allow the Repub's to have any power. They have paralized our political system to total defunction. We're like a ship without sails. And openedly declared not to allow Obama to steer the ship. Shame on them the Teaparty and all Republicians.

joe M.
joe MARTINEZ4 years ago

Ira: Thank you! Now we need to convence the 99% to vote Democrat and not allow the Repub's to have any power. They have paralized our political system to total defunction. We're like a ship without sails. And openedly declared not to allow Obama to steer the ship. Shame on them the Teaparty and all Republicians.

Chad A.
Chad Anderson4 years ago

Does anyone seriously believe this kind of crap would pass muster if it involved men's bodies?

Ira L.
Ira & Ellie L.4 years ago

(Capitalization for emphasis) S* M* A* L* L* G* O* V* E* R* N* M* E* N* T -- THAT'S WHAT THE TBAGGER/REPUBLICAN/RELIGIOUS/EXTREMISTS SCREAM THEY WANT. "STAY OUT OF OUR LIVES!!!!!!" THEY SCREAM. ****UNLESS**** IT SERVES THEM BY """MANDATING"""" FORCING WOMEN TO BE VAGINALLY PENETRATED BY THE GESTAPO FILTHY HANDS OF MALE DOCTORS TO PREVENT WOMEN FROM HAVING A "SAY IN THEIR LIVES."
2012 - "VOTE DEMOCRAT* BEFORE THE 99%, IN ONE FORM OR ANOTHER, ARE ALL EXTERMINATED. THEY SAID IT COULDN'T HAPPEN WITH HITLER. WELL, GUESS WHAT........WE NEED A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT AND A FULL DEMOCRATIC HOUSE AND SENATE TO SURVIVE. GOD WILL PROTECT US. OUR CHILDREN WILL THANK US!!!! NO TIME TO WASTE!!!!!

marc page
Marc P.4 years ago

This is EXACTLY what the anti abortion laws are designed to do: Turn citizens into nothing more than Government property. Cattle to be done with as the Government sees fit.
This is where I feel that protest should come in. Judges that make decisions that choose the Government and Big Business over the citizen need to have protests mounted in front of their homes. On their doorsteps. The problem is that they sit up on their bench, looking down through rose colored glasses passing edicts upon "The Common Person." with absolutely NO consequence to them. they can completely defy the Constitution without penalty. This needs to change. A thousand angry protesters at her door sounds right to me.

joe M.
joe MARTINEZ4 years ago

Gale: WAW, I think your statement and references are way above the comprehension of the anti-abortion groups. Because they're reacting to the teachings of religious pushers and in no way would they quote these passages, it would put them out off business.