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Texas’ RICK PERRY Condemns Court Ruling Blocking Portions of Sonogram Law – WSJ.com

September 1, 2011

POLITICS SEPTEMBER 1, 2011

Texas’ Perry Condemns Court Ruling Blocking Portions of Sonogram Law

By ANA CAMPOY

DALLAS—Abortion opponents in Texas are preparing to challenge a federal judge’s order that temporarily blocks key elements of a new state sonogram law.

An abortion-rights group filed a lawsuit earlier this summer questioning the constitutionality of the law, which was scheduled to go into effect Thursday. It would require every woman seeking an abortion to have a sonogram and to listen to a description of the fetus, including whether it has developed limbs or internal organs.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks upheld the sonogram requirement in an order filed late Tuesday, but he barred the state from requiring physicians to describe the fetus or requiring women to hear it until the case is resolved.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, now vying for the Republican presidential nomination, immediately condemned the decision. “Every life lost to abortion is a tragedy and today’s ruling is a great disappointment to all Texans who stand in defense of life,” he said in a statement.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott advised the court he plans to appeal, and on Wednesday, several Texas groups that oppose abortion said they’re considering filing briefs in support of the state’s case.

Numerous states have passed legislation involving sonograms as part of abortion procedures. But some abortion opponents believe that also mandating that physicians supply details about the fetus’s development can help dissuade women from going through with an abortion.

The Center for Reproductive Rights, the New York non-profit that filed the lawsuit—arguing that it violates doctors’ freedom of speech—is also challenging a similar law in Oklahoma. “We hope very much that this will be looked at in other states to make them stop thinking about enacting such unconstitutional laws,” said Nancy Northup, president of the center.

Judge Sparks, who was appointed to the bench in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, sided with the group. “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,” he wrote.

But abortion opponents disagreed. “The sonogram lets them see the development of their unborn child,” said Karen Garnett, executive director of the Catholic Pro-Life Committee of the Diocese of Dallas. “It will help them realize the separate uniqueness of that life before they make that decision.”

via Texas’ Perry Condemns Court Ruling Blocking Portions of Sonogram Law – WSJ.com.

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