THE NORTH CAROLINA WOMAN'S RIGHT TO KNOW ACT: AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL INFRINGEMENT ON A PHYSICIAN'S FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH.

Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
loading   Processing Request
  • Additional Information
    • Subject Terms:
    • Subject Terms:
    • Abstract:
      The North Carolina Woman i Right to Know Act represents the crossroads of the Supreme Court's First Amendment, informed consent, and abortion-related jurisprudence. The Act requires physi-cians to perform an obstetric ultrasound, verbally convey specific in-formation regarding ultrasonographic findings, and communicate a host of other information to patients seeking abortions. The pur-ported goal of the Act is to ensure that physicians obtain appropriate informed consent from such patients. By compelling a physician to convey this information, the State violates the physician's First Amendment rights. Indeed, the State may not compel an individual to convey the State's ideological message. Further, any statute that mandates that an individual speak alters the content of that speech and is, therefore, subject to strict scrutiny. Pursuant to current United States Supreme Court precedents on compelled and content-based speech, the relevant portions of the Act are unconstitutional. Further, the claim made by the Act's proponents that the speech in-volved is commercial speech, subject to a lesser degree of First Amendment scrutiny, fails under the Court's commercial speech precedents. The State may reasonably regulate the medical profession by mandating that physicians obtain informed consent and convey limited, truthful information to patients. However, the Act's exten-sive and one-size-fits-all approach to informed consent is not a rea-sonable regulation of medical practice. What is left, therefore, is an unconstitutional attempt by the State to infringe on the First Amendment rights of physicians providing abortions in North Carolina. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
      Copyright of Michigan Journal of Gender & Law is the property of University of Michigan, Law School and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)