Pro-choice activists filed a motion Thursday to halt the state’s new law requiring women seeking abortion to view a sonogram of the fetus.
The NY-based Center for Reproductive Rights filed the preliminary injunction request in federal court Thursday, arguing the law shouldn’t go into effect on Sept. 1, as currently planned, until a judge rules that it doesn’t violate medical ethics rules and patients’ rights.
“The Center argues that the ultrasound requirements violate the First Amendment rights of both the doctor and the patient by forcing physicians to deliver politically-motivated communications to women, regardless of their wishes,” said Maxine Mitchell, a spokesperson for the Center.
The group had filed a lawsuit hoping to get the new law ruled unconstitutional on June 13. They have also launched a website to rally opposition to the law.
In a statement filed with the injunction, San Antonio Physician Alan Braid said the new law is confusing on multiple fronts for abortion providers such as him
“My job is not to make the patient feel guilty about her choice or force information on her that she does not want; my job is to care for the patient, act in her best interests, and respect her autonomy,” Braid writes. “To provide her information that she does not want and that may cause her harm is certainly against my oath as a physician to ‘do no harm.’”
Yeah, well, Dan Patrick doesn’t care about any dead ancient Greek guy. Here’s some background on the lawsuit. The following is from an email sent out by Maxine Mitchell from the Center for Reproductive Rights:
I’m writing to let you know that today the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a preliminary injunction motion in our case challenging Texas’ sonogram abortion law. We are asking that the court block enforcement of the law until the case is resolved.
Linked here is the brief. I have also attached the document in PDF.
District Court Judge Sam Sparks will be presiding over the case.
The Center filed a class action lawsuit against the new ultrasound requirements on behalf of Texas medical providers performing abortions and their patients. The law prohibits a woman from getting an abortion unless the doctor providing the abortion performs an ultrasound on the woman, takes steps to show and describe the ultrasound images to her, and plays the sound of the fetal heart.
The Center argues that the ultrasound requirements violate the First Amendment rights of both the doctor and the patient by forcing physicians to deliver politically-motivated communications to women, regardless of their wishes. The Center also argues that the law discriminates against women by subjecting them to paternalistic “protections” not imposed on men.
Here’s that PDF. I Am Not A Lawyer, but my understanding is that granting a preliminary injunction like this, which simply asks that the new law not be enforced until there has been a ruling in the lawsuit, is fairly routine and doesn’t have any predictive value for the suit itself. If the injunction isn’t granted, of course, that doesn’t bode well for the plaintiffs. Postcards has more.