Supreme Court lets abortion ruling stand

Supreme Court lets abortion ruling stand
© Anne Wernikoff

The Supreme Court will not revive an Oklahoma law requiring women to undergo an ultrasound prior to receiving an abortion.

The justices declined Tuesday to hear an appeal from state officials, letting stand a previous ruling against the ultrasound law by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

The decision marks the second time this month the high court has refused to reinstate anti-abortion regulations in Oklahoma.

The Supreme Court recently dismissed a case involving a state law curbing the use of medications to induce abortions.

The state supreme court had ruled that the law effectively banned medication abortions, and the high court's decision means the statute remains void.

Supporters of abortion rights cheered the trend and attacked their opponents as seeking to interfere in women's private, medical decisions.

"This decision is … another clear message to lawmakers across the United States that attacks on women's health, rights and dignity are patently unconstitutional," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Seven states mandate that abortion providers perform ultrasounds before terminating pregnancies and offer women a chance to view the image, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

The court is expected to act in two more abortion cases this year — one involving hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers, and one banning abortion after 20 weeks.