The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Wednesday in a case concerning a section of the Woman’s Right to Know Act. The provision was struck down in January by U.S. District Court Judge Catherine Eagles, who ruled that it violates the free speech rights of medical providers.
Barbara Holt, president of N.C. Right to Life, an anti-abortion group, emphasized that the woman would not be forced to view the screen, but doctors would be required to put it in her view.
“She can close her eyes; she can look at the wall — she doesn’t have to look,” Holt said.
The ultrasound provision is important, Holt said, because women cannot make an informed decision without the information. She said mothers have told her they had no idea how developed their baby was when they had an abortion performed.
The N.C. American Civil Liberties Union is one of the plaintiffs in this case. Mike Meno, the group’s spokesman, said the ACLU challenged the provision because politicians have no right to intrude on medical procedures.
“The provision is a grievous governmental overreach, and it does not give medical providers any decision-making powers,” he said.
Meno said the provision doesn’t allow any exemptions for rape, incest or tragic diagnoses.
Holt questioned why there should be an exception for cases of rape or incest.