In a victory for the pro-life movement, the United States Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a Kentucky ultrasound law, allowing it to remain in place.
The law requires women seeking abortions to receive an ultrasound and review the images prior to going through with the procedure. If a heartbeat is detected, the sound is also played. Kentucky has argued that it is simply an informed consent law, but a legal challenge from pro-abortion groups has kept the law from being enforced until a ruling was delivered.
The challengers stated that such a law violates doctors’ First Amendment rights, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) arguing that “display and describe” laws violate physician’s speech. That idea and the legal challenge it created were soundly rejected by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which held in its ruling:
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.
The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, who declined to take it up without any comment or recorded dissent by justices.
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court allowing the law to stand:
We are encouraged by today’s Supreme Court decision that lets Kentucky’s pro-life ultrasound law stand…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.
Steve Pitt, general counsel to former Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, has stated that enforcement of the law will begin soon. “It’s a five-minute procedure that takes place before the abortion is performed to give women who might have a lack of understanding of what’s actually in the womb, that this is a real living human being there, they might change their mind,” he explained.