Nation & World News

Federal Judge Says N.C. Ultrasound Abortion Law Is Illegal

By Bill Chappell on January 17th, 2014

A controversial North Carolina law requiring women who want to have an abortion to undergo an ultrasound scan is illegal, according to a federal judge’s ruling issued Friday. The state’s law required that the women have a medical professional tell them what the image depicts. It also said the women should “listen to the heartbeat of the unborn child.”

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles issued her ruling in Greensboro, N.C., where the News Observer reports the judge “called the law ‘overbroad,’ and said it didn’t sufficiently protect women who didn’t want to be exposed to that information.”

After the law took effect in 2011, Eagles issued an injunction that blocked the ultrasound requirement, citing reservations over enlisting medical providers to deliver a “non-medical message to patients unwilling to hear or see,” as North Carolina’s Daily Tar Heel reported.

The judge echoed those ideas in today’s ruling.

“It is an impermissible attempt to compel these providers to deliver the state’s message in favor of childbirth and against abortion,” Eagles said, according to the News Observer.

Titled the Women’s Right to Know Act, the law was linked to controversy from its early days. After lawmakers initially approved it in 2011, the law was vetoed by Gov. Bev Purdue. But the two chambers of North Carolina’s Republican-led Assembly voted to overrule the veto.

From the AP:

“Eagles had put the law on hold a few months after the Republican-led state legislature passed the law in 2011. She said then that providers did not have to place an ultrasound image next to a pregnant woman so she can view it, describe its features and offer the patient the chance to listen to the heartbeat.”

News of Eagles’ decision was welcomed by opponents of the law — Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Supreme Court Clears Way For Same-Sex Marriages In Florida

The Supreme Court declined to extend a stay on a ruling by U.S. District Judge Robert L. Hinkle, who said in August that Florida’s 2008 ban is unconstitutional. The stay expires in January.


CEO Says Sony Pictures ‘Did Not Capitulate,’ Is Exploring Options

Melissa Block talks to Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton about the cyber attack against his company and the cancellation of the Christmas Day release of The Interview.


Actor James Franco (left), seen here with The Interview co-star Seth Rogen, was called "James Flacco" by President Obama Friday. Afterward, the jokes poured in.

Obama Says ‘James Flacco.’ The Internet Says, Thank You

It was an honest mistake. But when President Obama said “James Flacco” when referring to James Franco — on a Friday before the holidays, no less — the slip was eagerly received online.


Smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont., in September. New EPA guidelines treat toxic coal ash from such plants much the same as common household garbage.

New EPA Standards Label Toxic Coal Ash Non-Hazardous

Environmental groups had sought to have coal ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, regulated as hazardous waste.


"I didn't want to fire things up," St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch says of his silence since announcing the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

St. Louis Grand Jury Heard Witnesses Who Lied, Prosecutor Says

Weeks after he announced a grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson, Mo., police officer in Michael Brown’s death, prosecutor Robert McCulloch explains some of his own decisions in the case.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments