AUSTIN, Texas, July 7, 2011 ( – Abortion advocates have requested that a federal judge in Austin declare unconstitutional a Texas law that requires abortionists to give women a sonogram and verbal description of their unborn children at least 24 hours before a scheduled abortion.

According to Reuters, attorneys for the New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights alleged in their brief against the pro-life law that it “forces physicians to deliver their patients government-mandated speech.”

The law requires that abortionists provide a mother seeking an abortion with a detailed description of her child and his state of development, including the presence of limbs and internal organs. They also have to provide mothers an opportunity to listen to their unborn children’s heartbeat, and give them information about abortion alternatives at least 24 hours before the scheduled abortion.

Mothers who conceived through rape and incest, or whose unborn children have serious fetal abnormalities, do not have to hear the description. The 24-hour wait is also reduced to two hours for women living more than 100 miles away from the abortion clinic.

Gov. Rick Perry, who may be contemplating a run for U.S. president, had declared the bill (HB 15) an “emergency item” for this year’s legislative session, ensuring that the bill could be passed in a timely fashion.

CRR’s attorneys, however, say the law’s mandates fall “outside the accepted medical standards for informed consent.”

“This law is asking them to do something unethical at the cost of threatening to prosecute doctors for a crime, and forcing them to lose their medical license,” said attorney Susan Hays, according to Reuters.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, a Bush appointee, has said he will rule before the law goes into effect on September 1.

Pro-life advocates have championed sonogram laws as an effective tool to give women an informed choice before making a decision to have their child killed through abortion.

Pro-life advocate and former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson noted in a previous interview with that ultrasounds help women establish the maternal bond with their unborn children, providing a powerful tool against abortion. 

“You cannot excuse the maternal bond a woman has with her child,” said Johnson. “And that is what ultrasound is providing for women and these children.”