SCOTUS denies First Amendment challenge to Kentucky ultrasound abortion law

"In that regard, although many find the Kentucky law offensive, it doesn't implicate the same fundamental questions about the continuing scope of the right to choose that the justices identified in Roe as other cases already on the court's docket this term and coming down the pipeline", Vladeck added. Next month, it will consider a Louisiana law that requires physicians to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. 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.

A contested Kentucky law requiring a physician to display and describe a fetal ultrasound to patients seeking abortions has survived an appeal to the U.S.

The Supreme Court has a 5-4 conservative majority and is closely divided on abortion rights. "The information conveyed by an ultrasound image, its description, and the audible beating fetal heart gives a patient greater knowledge of the unborn life inside her".

Earlier this year, the law was upheld by a ruling of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Thus, while the petitioners claim to offer the information to women, there is no evidence that the petitioners do anything to make sure that all women are fully informed about the nature of their fetus or the nature and consequences of the abortion procedure".

"A law that requires a physician to keep speaking even though her words do not inform anyone of anything is not an informed consent provision", the group argued.

Pitt painted a different picture of the law.

But the 6th Circuit said that was before a 2018 decision by the Supreme Court involving pregnancy crisis centers in California.

Politico noted the ACLU "argued [the law] violates the First Amendment by forcing doctors to engage in state-mandated speech, even when they fear it will cause trauma or psychological harm to their patients". ACLU lawyer Alexa Kolbi-Molinas said that the Supreme Court "has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship".

The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the clinic, said the court should have taken the case. "This law is not only unconstitutional, but as leading medical experts and ethicists explained, deeply unethical". The law, Kentucky said, "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".

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