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North Carolina Abortion Ultrasound Law Illegal, Judge Rules

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NORTH CAROLINA ABORTION
Jessica Place, 25, of Winston Salem, center, and others gather on Halifax Mall outside the N.C. General Assembly to speak out against House Bill 695 that could limit abortion access, Tuesday, July 9, 2013. (Corey Lowenstein/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT via Getty Images) | Raleigh News & Observer via Getty Images
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GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge in North Carolina says a state law requiring women who want an abortion to have an ultrasound and then have a medical provider describe the image to them is a violation of constitutional free-speech rights.

U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ruled Friday that states don't have the power to force a health care provider to be the bearer of an ?ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term."

Eagles had put the law on hold a few months after the Republican-led state legislature passed the law in 2011.

She said then that providers did not have to place an ultrasound image next to a pregnant woman so she can view it, describe its features and offer the patient the chance to listen to the heartbeat.

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