Fourth Circuit Will Hear North Carolina Abortion Law

Oct 28, 2014

Credit SalFalko / Flickr Creative Commons

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond will hear oral arguments tomorrow over a North Carolina law that would require abortion providers to show patients an ultrasound and describe the image in detail.

The Republican-led state legislature passed the law back in 2011. It would require abortion providers to show their patients images of an embryo or fetus and describe them.

Six organizations quickly challenged the law, and U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles temporarily blocked the ultrasound requirement.

In January of this year, she ruled that physicians cannot be forced to show the images and discuss them. Eagles said that compelled providers to deliver the state's message against abortion.

North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper was reluctant to appeal her decision, saying he opposes laws that force the state into women's medical decisions. But he said it's his office's duty to defend state laws regardless of whether he agrees.