Free Speech at the Abortion (or anti-abortion) Clinic

Yes, there should be rules against fraudulent counsel, but the idea of politicians dictating what can (or cannot) be said at a pregnancy advice center purely on the basis of their own views on abortion is less than attractive, so this looks like good news:

A federal judge blocked a controversial New York City law requiring emergency-pregnancy centers to disclose that they don’t offer abortion services. The new law, scheduled to take effect Thursday, poses a significant threat to abortion opponents’ First Amendment rights, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III said in a sweeping 22-page ruling Wednesday that imposed a preliminary injunction.

On the same basis, one can only hope that examples of big government overreach such as the one being litigated here are overturned:

Today Federal District Court Judge Same Sparks is scheduled to hear arguments in a case filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) on behalf of Texas medical providers challenging Texas’ new abortion ultrasound law. The law, scheduled to take effect September 1, requires that women seeking abortion services forced to obtain and view an ultrasound.

The Center for Reproductive Rights claims that the law violates patients’ and doctors’ First Amendment Rights by requiring “physicians to violate basic standards of medical ethics by compelling them to disregard the wishes of patients who do not want to receive this information.” Bebe Anderson, lead attorney from CRR stated that the law is “most definitely the most extreme of this kind in the country. [It is] an intrusive hijacking of the doctor-patient relationship.”

The law requires that doctors show the woman the ultrasound. If the woman refuses to view the image, the doctor must describe it in detail and play the sound of the fetal heartbeat, if a heartbeat is present. Following the ultrasound, the woman must then wait a 24 hour period before obtaining an abortion.

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