Good News: SCOTUS will not hear appeal of decision striking down part of North Carolina's draconian anti-choice law
In 2011, North Carolina adopted one of the nation's most extreme anti-choice laws, part of which required a woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound done by a physician who would be required by law to display the sonogram and describe the fetus to woman. Ridiculously, the bill's supporters said the woman could look away and not listen if she didn't want to have the procedure.
In December 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals knocked down the ultrasound requirement in no uncertain terms as a violation of doctor's Constitutional rights of free speech. The requirement was "ideological in intent" and clearly intended to "convince women seeking abortions to change their minds or reassess their decisions." It imposed a "virtually unprecedented burden on the right of professional speech."
"The state cannot," the court declared, "commandeer the doctor-patient relationship to compel a physician to express its preference to the patient."
The good news here is that on June 15, the Supreme Court refused to hear North Carolina's appeal of that decision, leaving the circuit court decision as the final word on the matter. So at least the women of North Carolina are freed of that burden and physicians in North Carolina no longer must be sock puppets for the state.
The downside to this - because there seems to be a downside to everything these days - is that the decision does not affect any of the other falsely-called "informed-consent" provisions, which include forcing doctors to explain the risks of abortion, discuss alternatives, and tell the woman she can visit a state-sponsored website that describes the fetus, because those were not issues before the court.
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