Supreme Court Allows Oklahoma Ruling to Stand, Ultrasounds Before Abortions Create "Undue Burden"

Posted: Nov 12, 2013 4:50 PM

The Supreme Court Tuesday denied re-evaluating an Oklahoma decision which ruled it unconstitutional to require doctors to show women an ultrasound of their baby prior to aborting it. This is the second time this month the Court has turned away the state’s anti-abortion appeals.

Mandating an ultrasound creates an undue burden on the woman, according to the December ruling of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The Planned Parenthood v. Casey, definition of an unduly burdensome law is one whose “purpose or effect is to place substantial obstacles in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.”

State Attorney General Scott Pruitt said the law merely ensured that women were “fully informed.” According to the petition:

“actually seeing the ultrasound images has a necessary and critical impact in their decision-making process as to whether to terminate or continue their pregnancy to term. In one 2010 study of women intending to have an abortion, of those viewing an ultrasound 66 percent ultimately chose to carry their pregnancies to term, compared to 43.5 percent of those who did not view an ultrasound."

The rejected Ultrasound Act stipulated that at least one hour before an abortion physicians must 1). perform an ultrasound 2). explain what it depicts 3). show the pregnant woman 4). provide a medical description “which shall include the dimensions of the embryo or fetus, the presence of cardiac activity...the presence of external members and internal organs….”

A lawyer from the Center for Reproductive Rights claimed the law was extreme and compelled women “to undergo an invasive medical examination and listen to a state-scripted narrative, even if they object. ”

Apparently allowing women to remain ignorant is more constitutional, because after all, “what you don't know can't hurt you,” right? Planned Parenthood claims abortion is a “Positive Coping Mechanism,” which is really just a better way of saying it is a easy-out to a complex issue. It would be insane for a woman to undergo any other surgical procedure without first experiencing a screening and fully understanding what the doctor will be doing. Abortion should not be any different.

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