Judge Upholds Virginia Law Allowing Women to See Ultrasound of Their Baby Before Abortion

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Oct 1, 2019   |   3:17PM   |   Richmond, VA

A federal judge issued a partial victory for unborn babies and mothers Monday when he upheld a Virginia law that allows women to see the ultrasound of their unborn baby before going through with an abortion.

U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson upheld the ultrasound law as well as a 24-hour waiting period requirement, the Virginia Mercury reports. Hudson also refused to strike down a requirement that only doctors perform abortions.

Hudson said the laws do not constitute “a substantial obstacle preventing women’s access to abortion in Virginia.” He rejected an “undue burden” argument posed by the Falls Church Healthcare Center abortion facility, Whole Woman’s Health Alliance and the Virginia League for Planned Parenthood in their lawsuit against the state.

These laws help women and unborn babies by ensuring that mothers are informed about their unborn baby’s development and are not rushed into an abortion that they may later regret.

“Once again the $1 billion abortion industry has failed in its zealous effort to erase all of Virginia’s common-sense pro-life laws in the name of profit,” said Victoria Cobb, president of The Family Foundation of Virginia.

Cobb said Hudson’s ruling allows women the opportunity to see the ultrasound of their unborn baby if they choose to. It also protects lives by allowing the state to enforce basic health and safety standards, including inspections of abortion facilities and basic infection control, she said.

Here’s more from the report:

In weighing the waiting period and ultra-sound requirement, Hudson noted the existence of 27 free ultrasound providers around the state limits the additional expense and travel distance necessitated under the law.

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The plaintiffs had argued that those providers are almost entirely crisis pregnancy centers, which generally oppose abortion, but Hudson wrote that no testimony suggested to him “that a woman seeking to satisfy (the ultrasound requirement) cannot obtain the ultrasound from a free provider and decline additional information.”

The AP reports Hudson pointed to U.S. Supreme Court precedent on the physicians-only law. He said the high court repeatedly has upheld the right of states to decide what medical procedures should be performed only by doctors.

The ruling angered pro-abortion groups. Rosemary Codding, the founder and director of the Falls Church Healthcare Center, an abortion facility, claimed patients are “entitled to” and “deserve” unrestricted access to abortion.

Hudson did strike down a few other Virginia laws that regulate abortion facilities. According to the reports, he ruled against a requirement that abortion facilities meet health and safety standards similar to those required of hospitals and another that requires all second-trimester abortions to be performed in outpatient surgical facilities.

Cobb responded, “While this decision is positive for unborn life and women in many ways, it is disappointing that some parts of the Judge’s decision blurred the lines between surgical and chemical abortions in a way that may put jeopardize the health and safety of women.”

Challenging common sense abortion restrictions is a new tactic of the abortion industry. In April, the Center for Reproductive Rights successfully challenged a Montana law requiring that only licensed physicians and physicians assistants perform abortions. The state Supreme Court upheld a ruling allowing nurse practitioners and nurse midwives to abort unborn babies.