Posted: Aug 12, 2010 2:59 PM by Melissa Canone
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A federal judge has temporarily barred
Louisiana state officials from enforcing part of a new law that
requires women getting abortions to have an ultrasound exam.
Women won't have to view the ultrasound or receive a copy of it
while a temporary restraining order issued Wednesday by U.S.
District Judge Ralph Tyson in Baton Rouge remains in effect for up
to two weeks.
A lawsuit filed last week by the Center for Reproductive Rights
claims the ultrasound requirement is "unconstitutionally vague"
because it doesn't specify whether abortion providers must force
women to view or accept copies of their ultrasound.
Tyson's order also temporarily allows doctors to perform
abortions without giving patients copies of certain printed
material required by the new law. Stephanie Toti, a lawyer for the
center, said doctors were in danger of violating the law because
the state hasn't distributed the material yet.
The new law was adopted by the Legislature during the regular
session that ended in June.
Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the state's health secretary
are among the defendants named in the center's suit.
The plaintiffs include six abortion clinics in Shreveport,
Bossier City, Baton Rouge, Metairie and New Orleans.
The law's supporters said they hoped the ultrasounds could
dissuade women from getting an abortion by having to learn more
about their pregnancies. The center says the new requirement could
violate a patient's privacy rights.