A majority of states require ultrasounds before abortions, but a smaller number has varying requirements about what must be offered to the woman. In the past, SCOTUS has been quick to strike down regulations perceived as an "undue burden" on abortion access, including in 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey and 2016's Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. The high court's refusal to consider the Kentucky law comes as legal challenges to the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade intensify via laws deeply restricting abortion passed in OH and other states. That objection was made by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Kentucky abortion provider EMW Women's Surgical. The law, Kentucky said, "does nothing more than require that women who are considering an abortion receive information that is truthful, not misleading and relevant to their decision to abort".
The Kentucky denial comes as the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in the USA is facing multiple challenges in lower courts.
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The law, which was enacted in 2017, requires doctors in Kentucky to perform an ultrasound before giving informed consent to a patient seeking an abortion.
In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in a 2-1 vote, struck down a lower court ruling that declared the law unconstitutional because it violates the free speech of physicians.
The ACLU called the law unconstitutional and unethical.
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Pro-life leaders applauded the Supreme Court's action. "The Supreme Court should strike these laws down once and for all".
It will be the first abortion case that will be argued since Justice Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch joined the bench, solidifying a conservative majority. The physicians at Kentucky's last abortion clinic will be forced to subject every patient to their ultrasound images, a detailed description of those images, and the sounds of the fetal heart tones prior to an abortion - even if the patient objects or is covering their eyes and blocking their ears, and even if the physician believes that doing so will cause harm to the patient.
Two federal courts upheld the Kentucky law, but in a similar case out of North Carolina, a separate federal judge struck down the law. The law, Kentucky said, "does nothing more than require that women who are considering an abortion receive information that is true, not misleading and relevant to their decision to have an abortion".
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"Although this case is related to abortion, the challenge of the plaintiffs was that the law violated the rights of freedom of expression of doctors, as opposed to the abortion rights of patients", said Steve Vladeck, an analyst at the Court Supreme of CNN and professor of the University. from the Texas Law School.