Austin – U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks has a question for Republican lawmakers.
Do they intend to “permanently brand” women who are impregnated as a result of sexual assault?
The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights sued to block a new law requiring doctors to perform Sonograms before providing abortions.
The judge upheld the requirement, but disallowed provisions which demand they describe the images to their patients and require the women to listen. He held that in its interference in the privacy of the doctor-patient privilege, the new law violates the free speech rights of both patients and their doctors.
Judge Sparks questioned a provision that excepted women who are willing to sign statements saying they are pregnant as a result of rape or incest, or that their fetuses have irreversible abnormalities.
The law is one of dozens passed by legislatures nationwide during the past year. It becomes effective tomorrow, Thursday, September 1, 2011.