By Jordan Smith
“Federal District Judge Sam Sparks has denied a request by state lawmakers to file as a friend-of-the-court in a pending case that challenges the state’s new ultrasound-before-abortion law.
In a tersely-worded order, the no-nonsense federal judge on Aug. 9 denied a request by members of the legislature – led by bill authors Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville – who supported passage of House Bill 15, which requires a woman undergo an ultrasound before terminating a pregnancy and requires her, except in rare circumstances, also to be subjected to a detailed description of fetal development.
Requiring an ultrasound and description of fetal development, they wrote, is not ‘an ideological message.’ Still, they noted, the the law does acknowledge ‘that abortion is an irrevocable procedure: it may have lasting, negative effects on the woman, and, yes, abortion does stop a beating heart.’
Presumably, it was gratuitous language such as that, which prompted Sparks ‘tersely-worded denial of the lawmakers’ request. The parties in the case – the Center for Reproductive Rights for the plaintiff doctors who are seeking to have the law enjoined, and the state in defense of the law – are ‘well represented’ Sparks wrote and not in need of help from either Patrick or Miller, ‘particularly when much of their ‘assistance’ is nothing more than thinly-veiled rhetoric,’ Sparks wrote. With that, Sparks dismissed their interloping. This is the second time that Sparks has fended off such grandstanding intervention. Sparks has yet to rule on whether the grant a request to enjoin the law while the larger suit seeking to have it outlawed proceeds. A ruling is expected soon.” Read the complete article on the Austin Chronicle website >