Supreme Court Won’t Overturn Oklahoma Ultrasound Decision

UltrasoundA state may make laws restricting women’s access to abortion, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stick—at least not in Oklahoma in recent weeks.

The state has once again been told “you can’t do that.” This time, it was HB2780 [pdf] that was turned down for review by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Oklahoma Supreme Court had already ruled it unconstitutional in December, basing their decision on the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision.

Passed in 2010, HB2780 would have required that women undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion—done with a transvaginal probe, if that provided the clearest image—and simultaneously be forced to listen to a detailed description of the image of the embryo or fetus.  The thank-goodness-for-small-favors part of the law would allow a woman to avert her eyes from the ultrasound if she chose to do so.

A brief urging the top U.S. court not to hear the case, Pruitt v. Nova Health Systems, argued,

It does not merely make information available to a woman who wishes to terminate her pregnancy; it compels women to undergo an invasive medical examination and listen to a state-scripted narrative even if they object.

Photo from Flickr user lorenkerns under license from Creative Commons 2.0