WASHINGTON, D.C., December 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The United States Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit Monday that challenged Kentucky’s requirement that women considering abortion be offered ultrasound images, without comment. The pro-life law will remain in effect.
Enacted in 2017, Kentucky’s Ultrasound Informed Consent Act requires abortionists to perform ultrasounds prior to committing abortions, display and explain the images, play the audio of any fetal heartbeat, and offer women the opportunity to view the images. It does not force women to view them.
It is standard procedure to conduct an ultrasound before committing an abortion anyway, to ensure that it is not an ectopic pregnancy and to confirm how developed the baby is. Some abortions are even ultrasound-guided.
The left-wing American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the state on behalf of Louisville abortion facility EMW Women’s Surgical Center, arguing that the law violated the speech rights of abortionists. Later that year U.S. District Court Judge David Hale blocked the law from being enforced, but the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that injunction in April.
The ACLU appealed, but the Supreme Court declined to hear the case without elaborating on their reasoning, CNN reports. The result is that the ultrasound requirement will remain in effect.
“By refusing to review the 6th Circuit's ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship,” ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project senior staff attorney Alexa Kolbi-Molinas complained. “This law is not only unconstitutional, but as leading medical experts and ethicists explained, deeply unethical.”
“We are encouraged by today’s Supreme Court decision that lets Kentucky’s pro-life ultrasound law stand,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List. “Modern ultrasound technology opens an unprecedented window into the womb, providing undisputable evidence of the humanity of the unborn child. 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. We hope the Court will render another just decision in the case of Louisiana’s law requiring reasonable standards to protect women’s health and safety.”
Pro-lifers support and abortion activists oppose ultrasound requirements for the same reason: their ability to convey the humanity of preborn babies and dissuade women from abortion.
Pro-life group Save the Storks says four out of five pregnant women who see one of their free ultrasounds ultimately choose life. The similar ICU Mobile says its ultrasounds have convinced 56 percent of women who had already decided on abortion to change their minds, and 87 percent of those who were undecided to choose life. In addition, a 2011 study by Quinnipiac University’s Mark Gius concluded that “ultrasound laws had a very significant and negative effect on the abortion decision.”