The Austin Chronicle

Lawsuit Challenges New Ultrasound-Before-Abortion Law

By Jordan Smith, June 13, 2011, 11:40am, Newsdesk

This just in: The Center for Reproductive Rights today filed suit in federal court in Austin, challenging the newly-codified mandatory ultrasound-before-abortion law.

As we've previously reported, the CRR had been reviewing the new law in preparation for filing suit, which is similar to a pending action in Oklahoma, challenging a similar law enacted there last year.

This morning the CRR filed suit, on behalf of a collection of doctors, to stop the Texas law from taking effect September 1. The law, which requires women seeking abortion to first undergo a mandatory ultrasound and (except in very limited circumstances)to listen to a description of fetal development, represents a "profound" intrusion "on the practice of medicine, forces physicians to deliver ideological speech to patients, and treats women as less than fully competent adults," reads the suit. The law will "compel physicians to deliver to their patients government-mandated speech … that falls outside the accepted standards and practices for medical informed consent." And where a doctor might refuse to be compelled to deliver the government's speech, the physician would risk losing his or her license. "Thus, the Act will force physicians to violate basic standards of medical ethics by compelling them to disregard the wishes of patients who do not want to receive this information." (CRR has created a website dedicated to information on the lawsuit. You can find it here.)

The CRR argues that the law should be held as unconstitutional "and unenforceable," and that the court should issue "permanent injunctive relief" barring the new law from taking effect this fall.

You can read the entire lawsuit here.

And you can read more about the new ultrasound law here.

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