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Pro-abortionists ask full appeals court to rehear challenge to Texas Sonogram Law

by | Jan 27, 2012

By Dave Andrusko

Federal Judge Sam Sparks

Two weeks after a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals lifted a temporary  injunction against Texas’ sonogram law, the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights has asked for a rehearing by the entire 17-member appeals court. The law is currently being enforced.

CRR would have to convince a majority of those judges that the panel’s January 10 decision deals with an issue “of exceptional public importance or [was] an opinion that directly conflicts with prior Supreme Court, 5th Circuit or state law precedent.”

Under H.B. 15  the abortionist is required to perform and display a sonogram of the unborn child, make audible the baby’s heartbeat for the mother to hear, and explain to her the results of each procedure. In most cases, should the mother still wish to abort, she must wait 24 hours.

CRR President and CEO Nancy Northup told POLITICO PRO that CRR will “be continuing to look for every able legal mechanism to keep the injunction in place, adding, “The entire reproductive-rights community is concerned.”

Last Friday the case was returned last to the trial judge, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, who not only issued the temporary injunction but hinted he felt the law was unconstitutional. According to the Associated Press, Sparks “seemed frustrated by a recent appeals court ruling that all but told him how to rule on the case.”

“You just can’t ride a horse that’s been buried,” Sparks said. “What authority, other than a Scotch-Irish temper, would I have the authority to reverse the (appeals court), other than to feel good?”

CRR attorney Julie Rikelman “said she still hopes Sparks will rule that the law creates an unconstitutional burden on doctors,” according to the AP’s Jim Vertuno. The CRR “will likely appeal any ruling from Sparks that upholds the law.”

Categories: Legislation