Judge Rejects Key Parts of Sonogram Law

A trial will go on.
A trial will go on.

A federal judge in Austin today blocked Texas's attempt to enforce its controversial new sonogram law, which mandates the procedure for every woman seeking an abortion, and forces her doctor to describe what it shows.

Judge Sam Sparks said the law violated First Amendment rights because "the Act compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen."

He also certified the case as a class action.

"Today's ruling is a huge victory for women in Texas and a clear signal to the state legislature that it went too far when it passed this law," said Nancy Northup, president and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights. "Politicians have no business telling doctors how to practice medicine or meddling in women's private medical decisions."

Governor Rick Perry's statement:

Every life lost to abortion is a tragedy and today's ruling is a great disappointment to all Texans who stand in defense of life. This important sonogram legislation ensures that every Texas woman seeking an abortion has all the facts about the life she is carrying, and understands the devastating impact of such a life-changing decision. I have full confidence in Attorney General Abbott's efforts to appeal this decision as he defends the laws enacted by the Texas Legislature.

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