Women’s Rights: 1, Rick Perry: 0

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Women’s rights activists won a battle today in Texas when U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks (notably appointed by George H.W. Bush) declared that Rick Perry’s law fining doctors who did not show sonograms to women seeking abortion is unconstitutional.  The plaintiffs, a group of doctors as well as the Center for Reproductive Rights, brought eight claims against the law that was to go into effect tomorrow.

(1) The Act is unconstitutionally vague
(2) The Act compels physicians to engage in government-mandated speech violating the 1st and 14th Amendments
(3) The Act violates the 1st and 14th Amendments by requiring patients submit to such speech regardless of its medical necessity or want
(4) The Act unconstitutionally discriminates on the basis of sex, thus violating the Equal Protection Clause in the 14th Amendment

are we seeing a pattern yet?

(5) The Act unconstitutionally discriminates between abortion providers and other medical facilities in violation of the Equal Protection Clause
(6) The Act unconstitutionally discriminates between women who live within 100 miles of an abortion provider and those who live 100 miles away or more from an abortion provider, in violation of the Equal Protection Clause
(7) The Act violates women’s 14th Amendment right to bodily integrity by requiring them to medically unnecessary ultrasound procedures
(8) The Act violates the 4th and 14th Amendments by subjecting abortion facilities to random, unannounced, and warrantless searches.

The Act’s onerous requirements will surely dissuade or prevent many competent doctors from performing abortions, making it significantly more difficult for pregnant women to obtain abortions. Forcing pregnant women to receive medical treatment from less-skilled providers certainly seems to be at odds with ‘protecting the physical and psychological health and well-being of pregnant women. – U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks

Image Credit: Chronicle/Kurt Rogers

Thanks to Sparks, individual rights won today rather than the moral majority who would rather focus on religious grounds than the Constitution.  While the state attorney general will certainly appeal and Governor Rick Perry will continue to wage a war against women’s rights, this battle goes to the women.

Read more: Abortion Information 101, Jezebel, Hay Ladies, The Texas Tribune

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2 responses »

  1. That’s so true. While I’m glad that the battle was won, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done to create awareness about women’s rights at a state and national political level.

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