Court rules Texas sonogram law can go into effect immediately
January 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Days after ruling that Texas’s sonogram law is constitutional, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued another ruling favorable to the law, saying that it can be enforced immediately.
The ruling dashes the hopes of pro-abortion activists that there might be a delay before the green light was given enforcement, possibly sufficient to mount a challenge to the court’s ruling by asking for a rehearing.
It is now up to the Texas Department of Health Services to come up with a timeline for the implementation of the law, reports CNN. A spokesman for the Department told CNN that enforcement could begin within 30 days.
On Tuesday a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a temporary injunction against the law and advised U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks to reverse his ruling against the law from last August.
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The court also flatly contradicted opponents’ claims that the law, which requires doctors to disclose details of the baby’s limb and organ development, was an assault on abortionists’ constitutional rights as a form of forced-speech.
Pro-life advocates hailed today’s decision mandating the law’s enforcement.
“This order is a triumph for women and the unborn,” said Texas Right to Life in a statement.
“The sonogram law was passed overwhelmingly by the 82nd Legislature, because Texan women deserve to receive accurate medical information from all physicians. When women are given all the pertinent medical information they need to make a truly informed decision regarding their pregnancies, they will choose Life.”
Under the law abortionists will have to offer women the option of hearing the heartbeat of their unborn child and seeing the child’s image in a sonogram, a procedure normally performed before abortions but normally out of sight of the mother. The mother may decline; however, the abortionist must describe her unborn child at that stage in his development, and describe what organs and limbs are formed as well. Exceptions are made when the unborn child was conceived in rape or incest, or suffers from a severe disability.