The Supreme Court on Monday delivered a blow to those who are pro-choice when they turned down a case that challenged Kentucky's pro-life law, which required doctors to provide ultrasound images and play fetal heartbeats for women who were seeking an abortion.
The State of Kentucky said the law is "simple and straightforward," which they argued is part of the "informed-consent process" and "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," CNN reported.
Those who challenged, including an abortion clinic, argued the law said doctors' First Amendment rights were violated because the woman was forced to see the baby's images before an abortion was performed.
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals previously 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 wrote.
Pro-life groups celebrated the decision.
“March for Life applauds the U.S. Supreme Court decision today upholding a Kentucky ultrasound law,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement. “Women facing an unexpected pregnancy deserve to have as much medically and technically accurate information as possible when they are making what could be the most important decision of their life.”
"Americans United for Life hails the final legal victory today of Kentucky’s common-sense informed consent provision simply ensuring that abortion facilities offer women who are thinking about abortion visual, ultrasound confirmation of the humanity of the life in their womb,” President and CEO of American United for Life Catherine Glenn Foster said in a statement. “Consistent with the Supreme Court’s direction that mothers considering abortion may be given accurate, nonmisleading information about abortion and the nature of human life, today’s decision confirms that women deserve the truth, and cannot give real informed consent to an abortion unless facilities are transparent and honest about what abortion really is. That’s a right that was denied to me when I was 19 years old and making a difficult, life-changing decision, and I am so relieved that going forward, the women of Kentucky will have the opportunity I never did.”
Live Action founder Lila Rose took to Twitter to announce the decision.
BREAKING:— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) December 9, 2019
The Supreme Court has allowed Kentucky's ultrasound requirement law to go into effect!
When women have the chance to see the humanity of their child & hear their heartbeat, many reject the violence of abortion.
This is a great win for Kentucky & our nation.
While most pro-life groups applauded the decision, the American Life League shed a different light on the decision.
"The Supreme Court has made a decision that is consonant with sharing the entire truth with an expectant mother who is considering having her baby killed by abortion," American Life League President Judie Brown said in a statement. "As Dr. John Willke once said, 'the ultrasound is the window to the womb' but the sad fact remains that this decision is no victory, because once the abortionist shares the ultrasound image, if the mother of that child still wants to have the baby killed, the abortionist is free to kill the baby. It is the mother's so-called freedom of choice that reigns, not the child's right to life."
Pro-abortion groups and candidates were upset with the decision.
"By refusing to review the 6th Circuit's ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship," Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, told CNN. "This law is not only unconstitutional, but as leading medical experts and ethicists explained, deeply unethical."
Planned Parenthood argued the law is "medically unnecessary" and isn't based on "medicine or science."
Today is a dark day. The Supreme Court just allowed a harmful abortion restriction in Kentucky to go into effect. This law forces providers to play, show, and describe the results of an ultrasound, even if patients are turning away or covering their ears. https://t.co/itIxjkmoqX— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) December 9, 2019
This medically-unnecessary law has no basis in medicine or science. The only thing it does is shame and stigmatize people for seeking abortion services. Abortion is health care, and no person should be punished for accessing basic health care. Period.— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) December 9, 2019