Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Stunning Pro-Life Victory

In the biggest legal victory for life in a half-century, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a new Texas law requiring abortion clinics to allow patients to see their sonograms before deciding whether or not to have an abortion. Most women reportedly decide against having an abortion once they see a sonogram of their unborn child. Abortion Clinics say they already take sonograms prior to abortion. Because they do the sonogram anyway, why not show it to the woman?

The Texas sonogram law, enacted last year, amended the Woman's Right to Know Act in order to bolster informed consent. In addition to requiring the abortionist to display the sonogram, the law also ensures that the doctor will explain the sonogram images and give the woman time to reflect, usually at least 24 hours. It also requires allowing the woman to hear the fetal heartbeat, if there is one.

Abortion providers rushed into court and got a judge to issue a preliminary injunction to block enforcement of key parts of this new law. The State of Texas appealed. Oral argument before the Fifth Circuit was in January in New Orleans, before a panel that included Chief Judge Edith Jones, perhaps the finest judge in the United States. In less than a week, she issued a brilliant decision that upheld the constitutionality of the entire law, ruling that its required disclosures "are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information."

The district court, which had previously knocked out key parts of this law, then had to dismiss the lawsuit against it. Texas, the location of about 10% of all abortions in America, is finally beginning to protect women who are considering having an abortion. Other states now have a good example to follow.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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