By Pam Blume
Christian Action League
March 27, 2015
RALEIGH – North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and state Solicitor General John F. Maddrey petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday to take up a ruling by the three-judge panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down the state’s abortion ultrasound requirement.
The ultrasound provision is a part of the Woman’s Right to Know law that was passed by the General Assembly in 2011. It requires a medical provider to describe the baby’s image as it appears on the ultrasound monitor.
In December of 2014, the circuit court unanimously ruled that the law was “ideological in intent” and violated the free speech rights of medical personnel.
The court’s decision upheld a previous ruling by U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles who had said that the ultrasound provision was meant to “compel these providers to deliver the state’s message in favor of childbirth and against abortion, calling the law an “ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term.”
In response to that, Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake) countered that the law does not compel medical personnel “say anything that is not truthful or that is misleading.”
In writing for the court in this latest ruling, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III stated that “Transforming the physician into the mouthpiece of the state undermines the trust that is necessary for facilitating healthy doctor-patient relationships and, through them, successful treatment outcomes.”
Attorney General Roy Cooper, though not personally in agreement with the law, has said he has a duty to defend it in court.
Christian Action League Executive Director Mark Creech commented, “When did it become a free speech issue to require a healthcare provider to tell a patient the truth? Why is it ‘ideological’ to thoroughly explain to a patient what he or she sees on a diagnostic screen? Could it be that the idea that has been propagated for decades that an unborn child is merely a mass of cells and not fully human will be exposed for the lie that it really is? Let us pray that the U.S. Supreme Court will distinguish between what is ideological and what is common sense medical practice.”