Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Major Reproductive Rights Victory in Texas
A federal judge has blocked key parts of Texas' new abortion law, which would have been one of the strictest in the nation. Overbrook Foundation grantee The Center for Reproductive Rights sued to overturn the measure, which Gov. Rick Perry (who's now leading the pack of Republican presidential nominees) called an "emergency item." Earlier this summer, the Center filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of Texas abortion providers, then requested a preliminary injunction. The Center argued the law violated doctors' First Amendment rights by requiring them to deliver politically-motivated messages to female patients. The measure would have forced doctors to show patients ultrasound images of the fetus before the abortion, and require patients to listen to the fetal heartbeat. Patients could only opt out of seeing the images by signing a statement, declaring they had become pregnant through incest or sexual assault. Yesterday, Judge Sam Sparks struck down both of these key provisions. The ruling underscores the continuing need to fight for women's reproductive rights in states where they remain under attack. For more details, click here.