The Woman’s Right to Know Act is a law that requires abortion facilities to give women a chance to see an ultrasound of their unborn baby before considering an abortion. Currently, in the United States, 34 states have ultrasound laws in place and statistics show that these types of measures reduce abortion. In 2011, North Carolina’s legislature passed their own version of the legislation, HB 854, and overturned their pro-abortion Governor Bev Perdue’s veto.
However, in January 2013, a district court imposed a temporary injunction on the law, claiming that its mandated disclosures about abortion are an unconstitutional imposition of “the state’s philosophic and social position discouraging abortion,” rather than being factually based. And unfortunately, last week the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., found that the provision was an unconstitutional violation of the free-speech rights of doctors
Last week, an editorial in the LA Times praised the courts decision claiming that the purpose of HB 854 was to persuade women not to choose abortion rather than share objective medical fact.
“…The provision of the law under scrutiny in North Carolina goes beyond science, requiring a doctor to show his patient the sonogram and describe the fetus in detail — even if she averts her eyes and refuses to listen. The purpose is not to inform the patient about objective, scientific facts, but merely to persuade her not to have an abortion.
This compelled speech, even though it is a regulation of the medical profession, is ideological in intent and in kind,” said Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III, writing the opinion for the three-judge panel. In effect, the provision compels the doctor to parrot the anti-abortion views of the state legislators who passed it, turning the physician, as Wilkinson put it, “into the mouthpiece of the state.”
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Although Judge Wilkinson III argues that the provision propagates pro-life language rather than share facts, the real problem is objective facts about fetal development confirm pro-life truths. Mary Balch, the Legislative Director for National Right to Life, explained why Ultrasound legislation is so important. She said, “Clearly, real-time ultrasound images of the unborn child are truthful, not misleading, and can lead to a more informed decision. Ultrasound is a window to the womb allowing the mother to view for herself what is inside her, seeing not opinion but objective and accurate fact.”
The truth of the matter is the abortion industry knows that ultrasounds are bad for business because the facts about unborn life are against them. In fact, statistics show that 78% of pregnant women who see an ultrasound of their baby reject abortion. Ultimately, it’s hard for a mother to have an abortion when she sees that the baby she’s carrying has a beating heart and is moving inside her womb.