Appeals court: North Carolina anti-abortion bill went too far | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Appeals court: North Carolina anti-abortion bill went too far

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 5:50 AM

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday struck down a North Carolina anti-abortion bill that, like Arkansas, required an ultrasound test of women seeking an abortion.

The North Carolina law went further than the 2013 Arkansas law, which mandates that an ultrasound be performed and the woman seeking an abortion be told if a heartbeat was detected.

The law was passed by the state's Republican-controlled legislature in 2011 over the objections of then-Gov. Bev Perdue (D). The Woman's Right to Know Act, which Perdue vetoed, requires a doctor to give a woman an ultrasound prior to the procedure and to describe the fetus in detail, regardless of the patient's wishes. The doctor also would be compelled to give the patient the choice as to whether she wants to listen to the fetal heartbeat. The law provided an exception only for medical emergencies, and providers who refused to comply with the bill would face losing their medical licenses.

On Monday, the court said that the narration provision was medically unnecessary and constituted a form of forced government speech.

"This compelled speech, even though it is a regulation of the medical profession, is ideological in intent and in kind," the federal judges wrote in their opinion. "The means used by North Carolina extend well beyond those states have customarily employed to effectuate their undeniable interests in ensuring informed consent and in protecting the sanctity of life in all its phases."

"Transforming the physician into the mouthpiece of the state undermines the trust that is necessary for facilitating healthy doctor-patient relationships and, through them, successful treatment outcomes," the decision continues. "Abortion may well be a special case because of the undeniable gravity of all that is involved, but it cannot be so special a case that all other professional rights and medical norms go out the window."

The Arkansas State Medical Board voted narrowly, 7-6, to implement the law as directed by legislation. Doctors objected to be directed by the state on how to practice medicine.  The law also shortened the time period for an abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. Federal Judge Susan Webber Wright struck down that part of the law, but said the mandated ultrasound test was within the limits allowed by past court decisions.


Tags: ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel applauds Trump's EPA choice of climate change denier Scott Pruitt

    Dustin McDaniel gives the thumbs up to a man set to dismantle EPA regulations.
    • Dec 8, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation