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Federal judge strikes down North Carolina abortion law

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A federal judge has struck down a controversial North Carolina law that would have required a woman to get an ultrasound before allowing her to get an abortion, according to a CNN.com story published January 18, 2014.

The way the proposed law was written, women would be required to have an ultrasound, then have the image described to them. Federal U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles decided this law goes too far and is unconstitutional.

"The Supreme Court has never held that a state has the power to compel a health care provider to speak, in his or her own voice, the state's ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term and this court declines to do so today," said Eagles.

The law would require abortion providers to perform an ultrasound, place it in front of the woman, and describe the fetus in detail. Medical personnel would have to do this, even if the women requested otherwise.

Abortion supporters fought against the law on the basis that it is nothing more than a deceptive means by anti- abortion activists to reduce abortions and had little to nothing to do with a woman’s health. The ACLU of North Carolina was particularly happy with the judge’s decision.

"Today's court ruling protects the rights of women and their doctors from the ideological agenda of extremist lawmakers," said Jennifer Rudinger, ACLU executive director of the North Carolina unit.

Regardless of which side of the abortion issue one is on, this proposed law was bad for budget- minded parents and families for multiple reasons. First, it would require an ultrasound, which would add additional cost to an already expensive procedure and would not likely change anyone’s mind to have an abortion. Second, it would interfere with private health matters that are best decided by a woman with the assistance of her family and doctor, if she requests the advice.

North Carolina is just one of several states to attempt to restrict abortion in this manner. Women need to remain vigilant against these and other invasions of privacy when they occur in other parts of the country.

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