The Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal to the Kentucky Ultrasound Informed Consent Act, which requires “doctors to perform ultrasounds and show and describe fetal images to patients before abortions, as well as play an audible heartbeat of the fetus.”

Their decision means the law will stay in place.

The ACLU challenged the law on behalf of EMW Women’s Surgical Center in Louisville, KY, which is the state’s last abortion clinic.

The 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law:

“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 appeals court held in its ruling.

Circuit Judge John K. Bush wrote the information from the ultrasound to the mother gives her a “greater knowledge of the unborn life inside her,” which may change the mother’s mind. He said this information “does not render it suspect under the First Amendment.”

Bush explained that if these laws “required doctors to give information that is ‘truthful, non-misleading, and relevant to an abortion,’ they do not violate the doctor’s First Amendment rights.”

The ACLU complained that the Supreme Court “has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship.” It believes the law is “unconstitutional.”

However, Catholic News Agency noted “the mother would have the option of refusing to look at the ultrasound image and requesting that the audio of the baby’s heartbeat be muted.”

The Catholic Association applauded the fact that the law will stand:

“Today the Supreme Court let Kentucky’s informed consent law stand – a move that affirms common sense, transparency, and the democratic process,” stated Andrea Picciotti-Bayer, legal advisor for The Catholic Association. “Rather than keep women in the dark, Kentucky requires all medical professionals, (including abortionists) to disclose vital information related to a woman’s pregnancy and her developing child. Women deserve to know all the facts before making such a consequential decision.”


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