A federal judge who once claimed the First Amendment didn’t protect then-candidate Donald Trump’s demand to evict protesters from a campaign rally now has decided the same First Amendment gives doctors the right to prevent pregnant women considering an abortion from seeing their unborn child on an ultrasound.
But the governor in the state where Judge David Jason Hale issued that second ruling, Kentucky, says the fight is just beginning over the tool that pro-life activists believe is one of the most effective at preventing abortions.
A spokeswoman for Republican Gov. Matt Bevin told the Washington Times that Kentucky’s chief executive will pursue an appeal of Hale’s decision to strike down the state law requiring doctors to conduct an ultrasound and allow mothers to hear the heartbeat of their unborn child before an abortion can be performed.
“We are disappointed in the court’s ruling and will appeal immediately to the 6th Circuit,” Stamper told the Times. “We are confident the constitutionality of HB 2 will be upheld, as similar laws have been in both the 5th and 8th Circuits.”
Hale’s one-page ruling, which came in a case brought by the pro-abortion American Civil Liberties Union, claimed allowing women to access that information violated the abortionists’ First Amendment rights.
However, as WND reported, California, Illinois and Hawaii have passed laws to force pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics to promote abortion in apparent violation of their First Amendment rights.
The Colorado Springs ministry Focus on the Family posts information about its Option Ultrasound Program, which provides ultrasound services to various locations around the country, saving “an estimated 390,000 precious lives.”
LifeNews explained the importance of ultrasounds.
“Abortion activists love to claim that they are fighting for women’s rights and freedoms, but court battles like this expose their truly degrading opinion of women.
“In their own words, the ACLU and the judge basically said they think women are not strong enough to be told basic scientific facts about abortion before they make a final and – abortion activists even acknowledge it to be – a difficult decision. This actually is quite sexist. People make difficult, potentially life-and-death medical decisions all the time, and they deserve to know all the facts before making them. But when it comes to an abortion, women are too delicate and emotional to handle the facts?
“The reality is that the abortion industry does not want women to know all the facts. When women see their unborn baby on an ultrasound screen or hear their heartbeat, when they learn the risks of abortion and the details about their unborn baby’s development, when they find out that support is available if they want to parent, they are much less likely to give the abortion industry a fat check to have their unborn child aborted.”
The Obama-appointed Hale, the LifeNews report said, “also basically said women are too emotionally fragile to handle basic, scientific facts about human development. It’s more important that they be shielded from the facts and allowed to abort their unborn babies in ignorance, than be told the harsh truth.”
Pro-abortion activists tend to discount the importance of ultrasounds.
Politifact tried to undermine a statement from Rachel Campos-Duffy, a pundit and wife of Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., that up to 90 percent of those who have an ultrasound ultimately do not have an abortion.
She commented: “Now, it’s true that once a father or a mother who are seeking an abortion see an ultrasound, it’s true that upwards of 90 percent of them decide not to have an abortion. Our opposition may not like those results, but those are what people decide after they have all the facts in front of them.”
Her source for the figure came from the Knights of Columbus, which said its information was based on evaluations from Focus on the Family and others.
Politifact did admit that ICU Mobile, based in Akron, Ohio, documented that its mobile units provided ultrasound images to 1,389 women; 613 were “abortion minded or abortion vulnerable”; and 533, or 86.9 percent, “made a decision for life.”
Targeting ‘a specific viewpoint’
The Alliance Defending Freedom is challenging the Hawaii law that forces pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics to promote abortion and has filed a complaint with the Trump administration arguing states with such requirements are not eligible for federal funding.
In a recent decision, a federal judge in Illinois ruled a law that would force pregnancy centers to promote abortion regardless of their moral views likely is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Frederick Kapala determined an amendment to the state’s health care laws likely will be overturned when the issue comes to trial.
He issued a temporary injunction preventing the law’s enforcement until the case is concluded.
“The amended act targets the free speech rights of people who have a specific viewpoint,” he wrote.
The law would require doctors and pregnancy care centers, even those that are pro-life, to promote abortion.
“The government is out of line when it attempts to force Americans to communicate a message that is contrary to their most deeply held beliefs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Elissa Graves.
“In addition, the state shouldn’t be robbing women of the freedom to choose a pro-life doctor by mandating that pro-life physicians and entities make or arrange abortion referrals. The court was right to halt enforcement of this law while our lawsuit proceeds.”
Last year, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the most overturned appeals court in the nation, decided to affirm the right of the state to impose restrictions on residents’ speech.