RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court has struck down a North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to show and describe an ultrasound of the fetus to the pregnant woman, even if the patient refuses to look or listen.
The unanimous ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond upheld a lower court ruling that the mandate violates abortion providers’ free-speech rights.
Appeals court Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III wrote that the law “is ideological in intent and in kind.” He said the ultrasound mandate goes far beyond what most states have done to ensure that a woman gives informed consent to an abortion.
U.S. District Judge Catharine Eagles struck down the law in January. The state appealed.