A judge in Texas has struck down key provisions in a law, set to go into effect tomorrow, that would have required doctors to show women sonograms of their pregnancies prior to granting them abortions. The ruling from U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks upheld the requirement that doctors perform the sonograms, but struck down provisions that would have required women to view the sonogram unless they gave a statement that the pregnancy had been the result of rape or incest.
In his ruling, Sparks called the law a violation of First Amendment rights for doctors and patients alike, adding that states cannot force women to disclose information to police against their wishes:
"[The provision] 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," Sparks wrote, continuing, "[It] is difficult to avoid the troubling conclusion the Texas Legislature either wants to permanently brand women who choose to get abortions, or views these certifications as potential evidence to be used against physicians and women."
Frankly, it's too bad that any aspect of this law was upheld, but it's nice to see that there are, in fact, still legal authorities that are still willing to act like rational adults when it comes to this issue. And in Texas, no less!