The Supreme Court on Monday left in place a Kentucky law, mandating doctors perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients before they can perform abortions.
The high court declined, without comment, to hear an appeal brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the state’s lone abortion clinic.
The Kentucky law, which requires a doctor to describe an ultrasound in detail while a pregnant woman hears the fetal heartbeat, was passed in 2017.
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It was signed by Gov. Matt Bevin, an anti-abortion Republican who lost his bid for re-election last month.
The ACLU had argued that the Kentucky statute had no medical basis and was designed only to coerce a woman into opting out of having an abortion. Defenders of the law said it represented a straightforward attempt to help patients make a well-informed decision.
The high court’s action let stand the law which had been upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney at the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. said in a statement Monday that the high court had “rubber-stamped” Kentucky’s interference in the “doctor-patient relationship.”
“By refusing to review the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship,” according to Kolbi-Molinas.
“This law is not only unconstitutional, but as leading medical experts and ethicists explained, deeply unethical. We are extremely disappointed that the Supreme Court will allow this blatant violation of the First Amendment and fundamental medical ethics to stand.”
Associated Press and Reuters contributed.