Texas is poised to enforce a new mandatory ultrasound law. Earlier this week, an appeals court overturned a previous court decision that had blocked enforcement of the law, which will require women to have an ultrasound 24 hours before the abortion and requires doctors to display the sonogram, make the fetal heartbeat audible, and describe the fetal development to the woman. Although the woman may choose not to view the image or hear the heartbeat, she must listen to the development description. Women that claim they are victims of reported rape and incest, or can prove that the fetal has a fatal abnormality, would be exempt from the development requirement.
The Center for Reproductive Rights has challenged the constitutionality of the law on behalf of both women and doctors, although it is not yet clear if the Center will challenge the appeals court’s recent decision. The law itself will return to federal district court for further consideration, given that a larger case challenging the law is still pending and that there are additional aspects regarding constitutionality that have not yet been considered. [Read more...]