Lawsuit filed against sonogram bill


The Center for Reproductive Rights, a national abortion-rights advocacy group, has filed suit over Texas’ newly-signed abortion sonogram law, alleging it violates the First Amendment rights of the doctor and the patient.


The suit, Texas Medical Providers Performing Abortion Services. v. Department of State Health Services Commissioner David Lakey, alleges that the sonogram requirement violates the constitutional rights of both the doctor and the patient by “forcing physicians to deliver politically-motivated communications to women regardless of the woman’s wishes.” The Center for Reproductive Rights also charges that the law discriminates against women by “subjecting them to paternalistic ‘protections’ not imposed on men.”

The challenge was filed in U.S. District Court in Austin.

The CRR’s press release is here, and documents related to the suit are here. Anyone more lawyerly than me want to take a crack at predicting the outcome? Leave a comment if you do. Postcards has more.

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2 Responses to Lawsuit filed against sonogram bill

  1. Iain Simpson says:

    I rather suspect most of the law passes constitutional muster under the Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision. It’s possible (though not necessarily easy) to paint the legislative mandate as just another shade of basic informed consent. Of course, most doctors don’t have to worry about losing their licenses to practice for failing to dot every “i” and cross every “t”.

    The trial court’s willingness to find some portion of the requirements violates First Amendment rights would likely hinge on the degree to which the judge views the speech as political, rather than medical, in nature. I only briefly perused the complaint, but it looks as if it’s a bit off base in that the patient is allowed to reject hearing a lot of this information if she wants to (and knows that she can, another really big “if”).

    I’d give this case reasonable odds of getting enforcement of at least some of the statute’s provisions suspended by the trial judge. Then it’ll go to the Fifth Circuit, where they’ll shoot down the trial court’s entire rationale, declare the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle constitutionally dandy, and do it all with the minimal analysis possible.

  2. Pingback: Preliminary injunction motion filed against sonogram law – Off the Kuff

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