Supreme Court Allows Pro-Life Abortion Ultrasound Law To Go Into Effect by Not Hearing Appeal
The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a Kentucky law requiring doctors to show an ultrasound image of an unborn child prior to a patient undergoing an abortion.
The Associated Press reported the American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law, arguing it violating physicians’ freedom of speech rights under the First Amendment.
The ACLU of Kentucky tweeted in late September after filing its appeal petition to the Supreme Court that the law “exists only to coerce and shame patients, and has no positive health outcomes.”
The Supreme Court’s decision not to review the case leaves an April ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit — which upheld the law — in place.
In a 2-1 ruling, the circuit court found it consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision is Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), which recognized the right of states to have informed consent laws.
The Supreme Cout held in Casey that “protecting the life of the unborn” is a “legitimate goal,” as 6th Circuit Judge John K. Bush noted in his majority opinion.
“As a First Amendment matter, there is nothing suspect with a State’s requiring a doctor, before performing an abortion, to make truthful, non-misleading factual disclosures, relevant to informed consent, even if those disclosures relate to unborn life and have the effect of persuading the patient not to have an abortion,” Bush added.
Bush was appointed to the 6th Circuit by President Donald Trump in 2017.
Judge Bernice Donald — appointed by former President Barack Obama — dissented from the majority opinion.
Donald contended the ultrasound law “is a restriction on speech that has no basis in the practice of medicine. It should be subjected to heightened scrutiny and deemed unconstitutional, lest our constitution dissolve, and tyranny be erected on its ruins.”
In a brief to the Supreme Court, lawyers for the commonwealth of Kentucky argued the law serves a vital purpose.
“Nothing can better inform a patient of the nature and consequences of an abortion than actually seeing an image of the fetus who will be aborted and receiving a medically-accurate description of that image,” the brief stated.
The pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List celebrated the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Kentucky’s ultrasound law to stay in place.
“Modern ultrasound technology opens an unprecedented window into the womb, providing undisputable evidence of the humanity of the unborn child,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement provided to The Western Journal.
“The abortion industry has proven incapable of policing itself and will stop at nothing to keep vulnerable women in the dark for the sake of profit, which is why state laws protecting women’s right to informed consent are so important,” she continued.
In a statement to The Western Journal, Catherine Glenn Foster, president of Americans United for Life, also hailed the “legal victory today of Kentucky’s common-sense informed consent provision simply ensuring that abortion facilities offer women who are thinking about abortion visual, ultrasound confirmation of the humanity of the life in their womb.”
The New York Times reported that the Supreme Court is slated to hear a case in March regarding a Louisiana law that requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
The case will mark the first major abortion issue taken up by the court since Trump’s appointment of justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch.
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