Appeals Court: Texas Can Enforce Abortion Law

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the State of Texas can begin enforcing a new law aimed at curbing abortions. The Texas law states that any woman coming to her doctor or to an abortion clinic looking to have the procedure done be shown a sonogram, listen to a fetal heartbeat and have them described by the doctor.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, the pro-abortion group from Texas were the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The main argument of the lawsuit was that the law infringed on the free speech rights of doctors and patients.

In her Majority opinion Chief Judge Edith H. Jones trashed the plaintiffs when she wrote.

“The required disclosures of a sonogram, the fetal heartbeat, and their medical descriptions are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information. The appellees failed to demonstrate constitutional flaws” with the law.”

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott defended the law before the court. He welcomed the court’s decision and issued a statement saying,

“Today’s Fifth Circuit decision recognizes that the Texas sonogram law falls well within the state’s authority to regulate abortions and require informed consent from patients before they undergo an abortion procedure. Throughout our defense of this state law, the state has maintained that the plaintiffs’ First Amendment claims contradict U.S. Supreme Court precedent, which plainly authorizes the state to regulate abortion procedures.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights issued the following statement,

“This law, and this decision, inserts government directly into a private decision that must be protected from the intrusion of political ideologues. Anyone concerned with the erosion of the constitutional protection of our individual rights as Americans should be profoundly concerned and disappointed by today’s events.”

The Supreme Court has already ruled on a similar case where the issue at hand was also what is referred to as “informed consent”. Informed consent is a principle where the state has a legitimate right to require doctors to give all relevant information to a person before they are expected to properly make a medical decision.

This was addressed firmly in the court’s decision.

“The point of informed consent laws is to allow the patient to evaluate her condition and render her best decision under difficult circumstances,” Jones wrote. “Denying her up-to-date medical information is more of an abuse to her ability to decide than providing the information.”

The Court basically ruled that the State of Texas could begin enforcing the law while further appeals were heard.

Do you agree that the State of Texas has a right to make a law like this to limit abortions?