Judge rules part of North Carolina abortion law unconstitutional

By Kyle Johnson,

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ruled on Friday that a requirement in the 2011 North Carolina abortion law was unconstitutional as it violated healthcare professionals' 1st Amendment rights.

The law said that healthcare providers must take and show an ultrasound to a woman seeking an abortion, as well as describe the fetus to them, reports the Los Angeles Times.

In her ruling, Eagles said, "It is an impermissible attempt to compel these providers to deliver the state's message in favor of childbirth and against abortion."

The judge also said of the law, which had been challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union, that the law forced the message on "women who take steps not to hear it and to women who will be harmed by receiving it with no legitimate purpose."

Republican state Rep. Ruth Samuelson expressed her disappointment in the judge's ruling as she feels "women are entitled to as much information as possible."

According to UPI, the whole Women's Right to Know Act has not been struck down. Eagles was only looking at the ultrasound portion, which means that parts of the law still stand, such as doctors needing to explain abortion risks and an imposed 24-hour waiting period.

N.C. House majority leader Paul Stam was also disappointed in the decision and wants to have the ruling appealed.



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