The Supreme Court declined Monday to hear a challenge to a Kentucky law mandating ultrasound counseling prior to abortion procedures.
The rejected appeal allows the state’s law to go into effect.
Civil rights groups had challenged the law, which requires physicians in the state to counsel a patient on ultrasound images including the fetal heartbeat, as a violation of the First Amendment. They argued it violates the patient-doctor relationship.
“By refusing to review the 6th Circuit’s ruling, the Supreme Court has rubber-stamped extreme political interference in the doctor-patient relationship,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union.
“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,” she added.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 14 states require verbal narration and written documentation of an ultrasound prior to a patient’s abortion.
Kentucky has only one abortion clinic left in the state.
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, applauded the Supreme Court’s move in rejecting the appeal, resulting in the 2017 law being upheld.
“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,” she said.