BERLIN - OCTOBER 13: A family doctor conducts a real ultrasound scan of an assistant in this photo illustration on October 13, 2009 in Berlin, Germany. German political parties currently involved in federal government coalition negotiations, including the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the business-oriented German Free Democrats (FDP), are currently haggling over a restructuring of Germanys' Health Fund, or Gesundheitsfonds, the fund that provides the basis for Germany's state health care system. The CSU is pushing for more flexibilty in how the system is funded in order to allow for freer competition between the 180 different health insurance companies within the state health care system. The health care negotiations are part of broader negotiations between the CDU/CSU and the FDP in the creation of a new coalition government following nationwide elections in Germany last September. (Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
(Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
A federal judge on Tuesday said that a provision of a new Texas law requiring a doctor to perform a sonogram before an abortion violates the free speech rights of both the patient and the doctor, the Associated Press reported.
U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruled that the requirement to show women sonogram images and sounds of the fetus' heartbeat violates the First Amendment.
Sparks' ruling also struck down a provision that allows women to avoid seeing the sonogram images only if they sign a statement that says they are pregnant due to sexual assault or incest.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is running for president, signed the sonogram measure into law in May. It was to take effect on Thursday.
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