Court to Review Ruling on Texas Abortion Law

Judge rules law violates free-speech rights of abortion-performing doctors

Wednesday, Jan 4, 2012  |  Updated 9:29 AM CDT
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Court to Review Ruling on Texas Abortion Law

A federal appeals court will review a judge's decision to temporarily block the state of Texas from enforcing a law requiring doctors to show sonograms to patients and describe the images before an abortion.

In August, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks in Austin, Texas, ruled that several provisions of the law violated the free-speech rights of abortion-performing doctors.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday on the state's request to lift a preliminary injunction issued by Sparks.

A group of medical providers is challenging the law, which also requires doctors to describe the fetal heartbeat to a patient before performing an abortion.

The state argues its interest in protecting "fetal life after viability" trumps any free-speech claims.

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