Texas court blocks ultrasound abortion law

TEXAS Governor Rick Perry has slammed a court ruling that invalidated parts of a law he signed that would force doctors to conduct an ultrasound for women seeking an abortion.

“This important sonogram legislation ensures that every Texas woman seeking an abortion has all the facts about the life she is carrying, and understands the devastating impact of such a life-changing decision,” Mr Perry, who is a Republican presidential hopeful, said in a statement.

He called the ruling “a great disappointment to all Texans who stand in defence of life.”

The Austin court found the statute unconstitutional as it required doctors to tell patients details that were not medically relevant.

The court placed a temporary restraining order against the state, making the law in effect unenforceable.

Abortion rights advocates hailed the ruling as a triumph for women and physicians alike.

Among the requirements for doctors was the necessity to make the foetal heartbeat audible to the woman before conducting an abortion, if carrying out the procedure at a stage in pregnancy when that is possible.

The patient would also be forced to hear their doctors’ detailed description of the foetal development that had been revealed in the ultrasound – after that they would still have to wait at least 24 hours before returning to have the abortion procedure.

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