January 5, 2015 — The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals "made the right decision ... when it struck down a key provision in a North Carolina law [HB 854] requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds on women seeking abortions and then both show and describe the sonogram images to them," a Los Angeles Times editorial argues.
The Times adds that the provision, which the court found to be "an unconstitutional violation of the free-speech rights of doctors," is one of many state laws nationwide "designed not to protect the health of a woman and her fetus but to discourage her from exercising her constitutionally protected right to abortion."
While "[t]here's nothing wrong with providing pertinent information about risks and benefits of a medical procedure so that a patient can make an informed choice," the North Carolina provision "goes beyond science, requiring a doctor to show his patient the sonogram and describe the fetus in detail -- even if she averts her eyes and refuses to listen," the Times continues.
The editorial adds, "The purpose is not to inform the patient about objective, scientific facts, but merely to persuade her not to have an abortion" (Los Angeles Times, 12/23/14).