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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Reproductive Rights

RALEIGH – U.S. District Court Judge James C. Fox ruled on Friday that North Carolina’s plan to offer a specialty “Choose Life” license plate to drivers without offering an alternative plate supporting reproductive freedom was unconstitutional and that the state cannot therefore produce or distribute the “Choose Life” plate.

In the court’s ruling, Judge Fox concluded, “the State’s offering of a Choose Life license plate in the absence of a pro-choice plate constitutes viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation (ACLU-NCLF) had filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina in September 2011 on behalf of North Carolinians seeking a specialty license plate that supports a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. Judge Fox granted a preliminary injunction in November 2011 that temporarily blocked production of the “Choose Life” plate; that injunction is now permanent.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina today criticized the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners for voting Monday to reject a state grant that would have funded reproductive health care and family planning services for women.

Jennifer Rudinger, Executive Director of the ACLU of North Carolina, offered the following statement:

“It is truly shameful that the New Hanover County commissioners refused nearly $9,000 in state funds that could have provided essential reproductive health care services to women through doctors’ visits, medication, and comprehensive family planning. Most American women use contraception at some point in our lives in order to plan responsibly, and for many of us, contraception can also aid with other medical conditions. Unfortunately, many low-income women and young women do not have reliable access to contraception. The state funds the County rejected could have provided these women with medical care they cannot otherwise afford or access. The state offered this money to the County without any strings attached and without any increased burden on taxpayers. The commissioners’ decision to reject this funding is appalling.

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GREENSBORO, NC - U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles granted in part a preliminary injunction today that will block enforcement of intrusive measures in the new North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to show women an ultrasound and describe the images in detail four hours before having an abortion, even if the woman objects.

Civil liberties advocates, including the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the American Civil Liberties Union, filed a lawsuit in the federal district court for the Middle District of North Carolina on September 29 challenging the constitutionality of the law, arguing that it violates the rights of health care providers and women seeking abortion care.

“We are extremely pleased that the court has blocked this clear attack on the fundamental rights of health care providers providing abortions in North Carolina,” said Bebe Anderson, senior counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The part of the law that the court blocked not only forces doctors to go against their medical judgment to deliver an ideological message to their patients, but also forces women to lie down and just take it. It’s hard to imagine a more extreme example of government intrusion into the private matters of individual citizens.”

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RALEIGH – The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of North Carolina Legal Foundation, Planned Parenthood Health Systems, Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina, and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit today challenging the constitutionality of a new North Carolina law that requires abortion providers to show women an ultrasound and describe the images in detail four hours before having an abortion, even if the woman objects. The lawsuit, filed in the federal district court for the Middle District of North Carolina, alleges that the new law violates the rights of health care providers and women seeking abortions.

“Politicians have no business forcing health care providers to push a political agenda on their patients,” said Bebe Anderson, senior counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Two courts in Oklahoma and Texas have already blocked enforcement of these kinds of ultrasound requirements because they radically intrude on women’s private lives and violate basic constitutional rights.”

The new law, which the North Carolina General Assembly passed in July over the veto of Governor Bev Perdue, requires abortion providers to perform an ultrasound and place the image in the woman’s line of sight. The provider is then required to describe the embryo or fetus in detail and to offer the woman the opportunity to hear the “fetal heart tone.” While the statute allows the woman to avert her eyes and to “refuse to listen,” the provider must still place the images in front of her and describe them in detail. The bill makes no exceptions for women in any circumstances.

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