A 3-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today, only 6 days after hearing arguments, that the Texas Sonogram Law, a personally invasive law with roots in religious doctrine, does not violate a physician’s constitutional right of free speech.
The court, in essence, rubberstamped an out-of-control state legislature that sought to legislate religious doctrine into the doctor’s office.
In truth, most abortions are accompanied by a sonogram simply to help the doctor ensure the safety of the abortion. Look before you leap, in other words. So this law is not a law that encourages proper medical procedures, sonograms are prescribed as a pre-abortion procedure. What this law requires is a state-mandated speech that the physician must perform. A speech that has no medical merit at all. A speech that has, as its one and only purpose, to discourage a woman from going through with the abortion.
Not because of any medical reason. But because of the religious doctrine that life begins at conception. A completely unproved religious doctrine.
Clearly, the Court was influenced by rightist religious dogma that goes far beyond its purview as a secular body.
The Center for Reproductive Rights, an organization that was in the lead to oppose this law, is looking at its options that include asking the entire Court to rule on the case, and also a run at the Supreme Court.
Frankly, I don’t see how this case doesn’t make it all the way to SCOTUS. One way or another, it will end up there.
You know, if everyone would just agree to stop having heterosexual sex with each other, we can have this whole problem licked.