Garden State Gynecology

N.C. abortion ultrasound law overturned

A federal appeals court found the North Carolina ultrasound requirement which requires doctors to perform ultrasounds on patients who seek abortions but also show and describe the images—unconstitutional on Monday.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a district court judge’s decision that the law, created in 2011, disrupts the free speech of doctors, The Washington Post said.

The court said disruption of free speech includes compelled speech in addition to prohibitions of speech. The law forces doctors to say things that they wouldn’t typically say and to make an ideological statement. Some say they are trying to force doctors to make a woman change her mind about seeking an abortion.

Many groups have fought against the law in the past.

This decision is fair and reasonable not interfering with the doctor-patient relationship. Some may argue saying this information and description provided by their physician allows a woman to make a fully informed decision.

There are other states with ultrasound requirements, but few as strict as North Carolina’s law. A similar statute has been upheld in Texas but declared unconstitutional in Oklahoma.

Hopefully 2015 will see less and and less of the scrutiny and invasive regulations that the past few years have seen. These regulations create more and more barriers for women seeking abortion services.