Federal Judge Strikes Down North Carolina’s Ultrasound Law as ‘Harmful,’ Unconstitutional

ultrasoundGREENSBORO, N.C. — A federal judge appointed by Barack Obama has struck down North Carolina’s ultrasound law as unconstitutional and potentially harmful to pregnant women.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagle issued her opinion on Friday, asserting that the regulation was “an impermissible attempt to compel [abortion] providers to deliver the state’s message in favor of childbirth and against abortion.”

Lawmakers in North Carolina passed the Women’s Right to Know Act in 2011, which required women to obtain an ultrasound prior to an abortion, and that the abortionist describe the child’s features to the mother, as well as offer the opportunity to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Then-Governor Beverly Purdue vetoed the legislation, but was overruled by a majority vote.

However, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Reproductive Rights and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America soon filed suit to block the law from going into effect. Eagles sided with the abortion advocacy groups, placing an injunction on the requirement while the case moved forward in court.

On Friday, she issued her final judgment, ruling that “[b]ecause the speech-and-display provision violates Plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights, enforcement of this provision must be enjoined.”

“The Act requires providers to deliver the state’s message to women who take steps not to hear it and to women who will be harmed by receiving it with no legitimate purpose,” Eagles wrote. “Thus, it is overbroad, and it does not directly advance the state’s interests in reducing psychological harm to women or in increasing informed and voluntary consent.”

The ACLU cheered the decision, referring to the Republican legislators who passed the bill as “extremist.”

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“Today the court sided with the rights of women and their doctors over the ideological agenda of extremist lawmakers,” Jennifer Rudinger, the executive director of the ACLU of North Carolina, wrote in a press release following the ruling. “If these unconstitutional measures had gone into effect, doctors would have been prevented from using their best medical judgment to provide patients with care based on their specific individual needs. This law represented an egregious government intrusion into individuals’ private medical decisions, and we are very pleased that it will not go into effect.”

But others stated that they found the ruling to be disturbing.

“This decision is a disappointment, especially considering that these laws seek to help women be as fully informed as possible as they find themselves about to make an irreversible and life changing decision,” the organization Susan B. Anthony List commented in an online blog. “Pro-abortion advocates frequently say that we need to trust women to make the right decisions for themselves. Their opposition to this law seems slightly hypocritical as it would enable women to make the right decisions for themselves once they have all the facts about abortion.”

“Secondly, this demonstrates the enormous power of the ultrasound and the fetal heartbeat,” it continued. “The image of the unborn child and the sound of his or her heart both stand as powerful testimonies that the unborn child is a precious human life. They speak volumes where words might otherwise fail. For that reason, pro-abortion advocates are terrified to make them available—terrified people will recognize the humanity of the unborn child.”

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  • bonita crawford

    We live in a world of baby killers ,protected perverts and politically correct freaks.

  • Sir Tainly

    There is no medical benefit to the ultrasound requirement, it is entirely designed just to get into the heads of sometimes psychologically vulnerable women.

    I am a pro-choice Christian, and I know darn well that many of these right wing Christians (that also mistakenly think that abortion is murder) would be screaming “foul” and fearing the devil himself at any government legislation that was designed just to “get into their heads”.

    • Sir Tainly

      You have every right to decide not to have an abortion, but what does the bible actually say as to ordinances on the issue?

      You have not one ordinance, law, or statute in the Bible to back you up if you think that abortions should be banned.

      Moses was raised as a Prince in Egypt and mastered all they taught him…including LIKELY that they had ways to end unfortunate pregnancies. (It says in acts he was learned in all Egyptian education) But instead of writing an ordinance to end abortions and/or induced miscarriages…..he wrote an ordinance that would induce a miscarriage (abortion by proxy) if perchance a woman would be pregnant through adultery. (Numbers 5:11-31)

      You will not find the law that bans abortions in the Bible….IT IS NOT IN GOD’S WORD!

      • Ally

        I read that scripture you referenced and there’s nothing about abortion. All it says is she is to stand before the Lord if she there is a possibility that she’s committed adultery. If she has she won’t be able to bare children at all in the first place and if she’s been faithful she will bare children. You obviously have little to no understanding of scripture or the Jewish culture. The very idea of abortion would have been appalling. And it is rightly appalling to anyone that loves God. It is not the baby in the womb’s fault there is evil in the world and horrible people who commit evil. To condone abortion is putting the punish of people wrong choices and evil doing on that baby. In scripture it says he new us in the womb, that mean we were more than cells in the womb at conception. He knew us intimately and lovingly then. I can understand how someone who doesn’t know God can condone sin but it baffles me how people who claim to be Christians over and over try to justify sin.

        • Sir Tainly

          You sound pretty convinced Ally. As I have no personal issues at stake here I am not interested in doing anything but to stand up for peoples’ rights…in this case the right to choose for themselves as to what is right for them.

          I honestly believe that abortion is not murder, and that God has placed all the authority to make the choice in the hands of the woman, and also in the hands of whosoever she has close enough to her to give counsel.

          I think the record in Numbers 5 is fairly obvious….and that if she did happen to be pregnant through adultery, that the miscarriage following would pretty much amount to an abortion by the hand of God. Pro-life people of course do not like that scenario, but it seems very very obvious to me.

          As to thou shall not kill, many people oversimplify and misapply this commandment. Murder is what is meant, so soldiers, police, and other legal remedies to crime are obviously exempt. And as Moses obviously knew that abortions existed, he could well have written an ordinance but did not. God knew that abortions existed when the law was given but did not write one ordinance.

          I really think that if abortion amounted to the terrible evil that you think it did, that at least one divine ordinance would be written. Consequently I do believe that you have been misled and should more fully consider God’s silence on the issue before you continue putting your own ideas as to this imaginary “evil” of abortions into legal form and ban them, especially as you would be banning them in God’s name without even one tiny divine commandment to back you up.

          God knew us in the womb, heck, he knew us before the foundations of the earth. He knew every miscarriage, still birth, & abortion as well. Your quote has nothing to do with abortion while my scripture relates much more directly. Are you swallowing a camel only to choke on a gnat?

          • Mary Ellen

            Just wonder how you know what Moses knew.

      • “Thou shalt not kill.” Exodus Chapter 20

      • Carla S.

        Yes, but “Thou shall not murder” is. I believe it’s stated in the Ten Commandments. It might do you good to read them.

      • Sandkat

        To Sir Tainly, You wrote, “You will not find the law that bans abortion in the Bible. IT IS NOT IN GOD’S WORD”.

        Actually, yes it is! It is called the 10 Commandments: One of which explicitly states, “Thou shalt not kill”. God does not specify type of killing. To Him, killing is killing. You have a choice to follow the laws instituted by man, or follow the laws of our Supreme Father. Choose wisely.

        • Sir Tainly

          The commandment better reads, “Thou shall not murder.” Abortion is not murder, it is abortion. God has not banned abortion even though he might have, and in Numbers 5 he has a statute which would lead to an abortion for a woman that happened to be pregnant through adultery.

          • jkramer

            No, I didn’t murder the man, I was simply aborting him from life. I’m protected by the constitution to get rid of a lifeform because it’s inconvenient. Also, I’d like to petition to abort all the Alzheimer’s patients from life, as protected by the constitution.

    • mary

      I don’t believe you are a Christian, life would be precious to you. you may claim to be one but talk to you pastor and he will straight your rear out as not being one.

      • Sir Tainly

        It would be better for all concerned if you had even one commandment to back you up, but you do not. Apparently….God does not share your sentiment as to what a Christian can or can not be.

        Abortion is not murder, but it is a choice that God allows every woman to make and he has had this system in place without regulation for thousands of years.

        • Mary Ellen

          That is just stupid. Not an ounce of sense in your statement. You not only presume to know what Moses knew, you know what God think also. I guess the telling will be in the judgement after death. We have made it legal, but God will decide. If you abort a child several moments before birth (partial birth abortion) why not several minutes after birth? Don’t you see how evil this is. Bet you are glad your mom chose life!

          • Sir Tainly

            This is what Egypt knew before Moses’ time from Wikipedia’s abortion listing:
            “Main article: History of abortion

            Induced abortion has long history, and can be traced back to civilizations as varied as China under Shennong (c. 2700 BCE), Ancient Egypt with its Ebers Papyrus (c. 1550 BCE), and the Roman Empire in the time of Juvenal (c. 200 CE).[101] There is evidence to suggest that pregnancies were terminated through a number of methods, including the administration of abortifacient herbs, the use of sharpened implements, the application of abdominal pressure, and other techniques.”

            This is what Moses knew according to the Bible:
            Acts 7:22 (1599 Geneva Bible)
            And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.


            So the things that I say about abortion and Moses from the scriptures have more Biblical foundation than the scriptures you say speak as to abortion but do not.

          • Sir Tainly

            In all honesty Mary Ellen, viability is the best measure that I know to take the status of the baby-to-be from completely within the woman’s authority to transitioning to having it’s own human rights. Before viability, the mother has all authority to determine the status of the fetus, which if the pregnancy goes well will develop into a living breathing human being…God willing.

        • Mark

          The FIRST COMMANDMENT: You shall have no other Gods but me – http://www.the-ten-commandments.org/the-ten-commandments.html

          Your god is the god of abortion disguised as Satan.

          Spare the stupid comment abortion is not murder. That is the MOST ignorant comment you can make regarding the deliberate, intentional, selfish taking of a pre-born developing baby human’s life. What is the purpose of abortion if not to kill the baby?

          My goodness look at yourself – what are you Sir Tainly – a choice or a human being?

          • Sir Tainly

            I am pretty sure that you are unqualified to see Satan in my position Mark. Better watch those three fingers pointing back at yourself buddy!

            The Bible does not have even one statute against abortion even though abortions were practiced in Egypt before Moses’ time.

            There are two statutes in the OT law, one where fines are levied against a man that accidentally causes a miscarriage instead of the standard punishment for murder (death penalty yanno), and another where if a woman happened to be pregnant through adultery that she would receive a miscarriage by the hand of God. Anti-abortion Christians disagree but nobody has successfully disputed either point in my view (That is including you Mark), however the discussions have gotten long and complicated to be fair.

            I deeply believe that God has placed the ultimate authority to make the decision in the woman’s authority….not our government.

            I feel that the woman’s authority does not diminish in the least until the baby-to-be reaches viability and at that point should be conferred some human rights of it’s own.

            I feel the anti-abortion Christians are emotionally manipulated through theatrical histrionics (such as proclaiming my god to be satan) more than reason and actually are disrespecting a woman’s God given rights to make her own choices.

            And that for all the pro-choice railing against the supposed “profit driven” abortion industry, that I feel that the profit driven Christian ministers are even worse.

            There is more of course…this was off the top of my head.

          • Sir Tainly

            And to answer your last question directly Mark….I am a human being because of the choices my parents made, just like every other human being in existence.

            Was that question supposed to trip me up or have me reconsidering something!?

    • Mark

      Sir Tainly you are a HYPOCRIT calling yourself pro-abortion and a ‘Christian.’

      You sir (NO pun) need to get on your knees and confess to the REAL God of His SON, Jesus, your sins.

      A Christian can NOT nor EVER be pro-abortion and call oneself a follower of Jesus, hence the TRUE meaning of a Christian.

      God did NOT creat us humans as choices. For all the scripture quoting you’ve done, I suggest you re-read Genesis to comprehend what God created humans to be.

      • Sir Tainly

        I seriously counsel you Mark to try to have more than one misconstrued commandment to back you up when you claim that you are privy as to knowing what a Christian can be or not be.

        I am pro-choice…as it turns out the Bible is. Many cultures at Moses time had abortion regulations when Moses gave the law. As he was very well educated, definitely knowing the Babylonian laws that also had abortion regulations I can easily see why that God left abortion regulations out of the Bible. They are unjust, unworkable, and lead to the deaths of some women even today that may choose abortion if their country’s allowed them.

        I have nothing to boast as to my Christianity, but your criticisms are pointless because God himself has ignored the thousands of years that abortions have existed in His scriptures. You perhaps think that this was a grievous oversight on God’s part. I think it to be indicative of the wisdom of the living God.

        • Sir Tainly

          OK…since I have also mention that other cultures had abortion regulations but the God of Israel chose not to have any:
          From Wikipedia:
          “Earliest evidence[edit]
          The written evidence of abortion reflects the interests of class and caste. Fines are listed in the Code of Hammurabi, ca. 1760 BCE, for the crime of causing a miscarriage through assault, with the amount varying according to the social rank of the woman.[3][4] The Vedic and smrti laws of India reflect a concern with preserving the male seed of the three upper castes; and the religious courts imposed various penances for the woman or excommunication for a priest who provided an abortion.[5] The only evidence of the death penalty being mandated for abortion in the ancient laws is found in Assyrian Law, in the Code of Assura, c. 1075 BCE;[6] and this is only imposed on a woman who procures an abortion against her husband’s wishes. The first recorded evidence of induced abortion is from the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus in 1550 BCE.[7]”

  • Amanda Dodson

    As a Christian, Jesus teaches us that we are born again and our bodies become vessels used by God. So for that reason alone, it is unnatural for a born again Christian to willingly terminate something that God has created. However, not everyone shares this view and they don’t want the judgment from self-righteous strangers. We all sin and we all fall short of Gods glory.