A North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to first give a woman an ultrasound and describe the images in detail is unconstitutional, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. This circuit court ruling upholds a lower-court decision from January, The Huffington Post reports.
The Woman's Right to Know Act was passed by a Republican-controlled legislature in 2011 over the veto of a Democratic governor. The doctor was also required to ask patients if they wanted to listen to fetal heartbeats. Those who didn't comply faced losing their medical licenses.
"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," the decision reads.
Other provisions in the act, like a mandatory 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, are still set to go into effect. The debate over the ultrasound provision could very well head to the Supreme Court.