Oklahoma’s ultrasound case will not be heard by the US Supreme Court. The high court upheld the 2012 decision to overturn a restrictive abortion law. Under the ultrasound measure, women who sought abortions were required to have an ultrasound and view photos of the fetus.
The original law was approved by the Oklahoma Legislature in early 2010. However, in a lawsuit filed by The Center for Reproductive Rights, a district court judge placed a temporary injunction against the law. In 2012, the injunction became permanent. The case was eventually presented to the US Supreme Court for intervention.
Oklahoma’s ultrasound case is not unique. Similar laws were also approved in Louisiana, Texas, and Wisconsin. The laws require women to schedule an ultrasound, listen to a description of the fetus, and view photos, before getting an abortion.
According to The Washington Post, other states require an ultrasound prior to abortion. However, most states do not force women to listen to a description or view photos of the fetus.
Nancy Northup, with the Center for Reproductive Rights, said “attacks on women’s health, rights and dignity are patently unconstitutional and will not be allowed to stand.”
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin disagrees. She said the high court’s decision is disappointing:
“The US Supreme Court has prohibited states like Oklahoma from banning abortion, despite the fact that our citizens are overwhelmingly pro-life… prohibiting the state from providing more information to women about their unborn children.”
Pro-choice advocates argue that the law forces women to have an unwanted medical procedure, which can be invasive. They also argue that the forced description and photos may cause undue emotional distress. Many view the restrictive laws as an extreme attempt to promote pro-life ideals.
Oklahoma’s ultrasound case will not be examined by the US Supreme Court. However, the decision will not affect similar laws in other states.
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