By Claire, Communications Intern
As the start of 2011 brought an onslaught of anti-choice politics to America, it seems that the latter months of 2011 is bringing injunctions against those politics. Federal judges throughout the country are finding that many of the anti-choice laws quickly passed by anti-choice states across the country violate not only the first amendment but other constitutional rights as well.
Yesterday, a federal judge in Texas issued an injunction blocking the new sonogram law because it violated the first amendment rights of patients seeking abortion and the doctors who are not required to the sonogram. The law would force patients seeking abortion to undergo a medically unnecessary sonogram, including an invasive transvaginal sonogram if need be. Doctors would be required to describe the sonogram to the patient, even if she declined to view the image, and force the patient to hear the fetal heartbeat (if there is one). I applaud the decision of Judge Sam Sparks for recognizing what can only be described as a gross violation of executive and legislative power and an affront to Texas residents seeking a legal, safe medical procedure.
Meanwhile in Kansas, another federal judge has ordered the state to immediately reinstate funding for Planned Parenthood. U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten ordered this after deciding the state’s request to pay Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri monthly and only for services provided would undermine the clinics “ability to maintain its current level of services.” So another round of applause for Judge Marten as well!