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Law & the Courts

Supreme Court Upholds Kentucky Law Requiring Abortionists to Describe Ultrasound to Woman

(Jason Reed/Reuters)

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a Kentucky abortion law to stand that requires an abortionist to perform an ultrasound and describe the image to the mother and allow her to hear the heartbeat of the fetus before terminating it.

The court declined to reconsider an appeals court ruling upholding the Kentucky Ultrasound Informed Consent Act after the American Civil Liberties Union brought a case on behalf of the state’s only abortion clinic saying the “display and describe” requirement violates physicians’ First Amendment rights by forcing them to show their patients images they do not wish to see.

No justices dissented from the decision not to hear the case.

Kentucky argued that the law supports an ” informed-consent process” and “does nothing more than require that women who are considering an abortion be provided with information that is truthful, non-misleading and relevant to their decision of whether to have an abortion.”

Women may cover their ears and refuse to look at the ultrasounds image during the process.

Republican governor Matt Bevin signed the law, which passed in 2017.

The law comes as other states pass laws meant to spark court challenges that they hope will lead to a reconsideration of Roe. vs. Wade, the landmark abortion rights Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide.

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