Small victory for women: Federal judge blocks ultrasound viewing part of abortion law


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In a Greensboro courtroom Tuesday, women won back part of their reproductive rights.

A federal judge blocked part of North Carolina's new abortion law Tuesday, ruling providers do not have to place an ultrasound image next to a pregnant woman so she can view it, nor do they have to describe its features and offer her the chance to listen to the heartbeat

The law was set to take effect Wednesday, but U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles' decision puts a key section of it on hold until she can hear more arguments.

This comes in the same week that NARAL-ProChoice North Carolina released the results of its year-long investigation into state-supported crisis pregnancy centers.

North Carolina officials "have not articulated how the speech-and-display requirements address the stated concern in reducing compelled abortions, and none is immediately apparent," the judge wrote in a preliminary injunction.

Eagles said other sections of the law, including a 24-hour waiting period, can be enforced.

That's why this is only a small victory. The mostly male lawmakers pushing for this law don't seem to understand that having an abortion is already a tough choice for women.

Other than the pregnant woman herself, no one knows what's behind the decision to terminate a pregnancy.

Katy Parker, legal director for the ACLU, said the law was too vague about whether women could avert their eyes or refuse to hear and did not provide exceptions for victims of rape and incest.

"(The law) would have required the doctor to put the ultrasound in the woman's face and give information well beyond informed consent, regardless of whether the patient wanted to hear the information," Parker said. "The doctor had to keep talking even if it was clear that it was causing serious psychological consequences to the patient."

The fact that law makers didn't make exceptions for women who had been violated makes this law cruel and amounts to a second violation. Imagine lying on a table forced to be reminded of one of the most horrible events in your life, only to be patted on the head and sent home to think about it for another 24 hours?

Animals get better treatment in the state of North Carolina than women. And that is a shame.


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