Judges: Texas can enforce sonogram law
A panel of federal appellate judges has authorized Texas officials to enforce a controversial abortion sonogram law while its constitutionality is being challenged in court.
In an opinion, the judges said the measure's opponents "failed to demonstrate constitutional flaws" in the measure, which they said was "fatal" to their effort to prevent it from taking effect.
The abortion sonogram law, which lawmakers passed last legislative session, requires doctors to perform sonograms and describe what they see, including the size of the fetus and the length of its limbs. The measure has been in court almost since it passed, with opponents arguing it violates doctors' First Amendment rights by forcing them to disclose information that isn't medically necessary and that the woman may not want to hear.
The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Austin District Judge Sam Sparks' temporary order Tuesday morning, preventing the sonogram measure from taking effect.
According to the appellate judges' opinion, "the required disclosures of a sonogram, the fetal heartbeat, and their medical descriptions are the epitome of truthful, non-misleading information."