"In that regard, although many find the Kentucky law offensive, it doesn't implicate the same fundamental questions about the continuing scope of the right to choose that the justices identified in Roe as other cases already on the court's docket this term and coming down the pipeline", Vladeck added.
The ACLU said the Kentucky law has no medical basis and that its sole goal is to coerce a woman into not getting an abortion.
"While the patient is half-naked on the exam table with her feet in stirrups, usually with an ultrasound probe inside her vagina, the physician has to keep talking to her, showing her images and describing them, even as she tries to close her eyes and cover her ears to avoid the speech", the brief from EMW Women's Surgical Center said.
Kentucky argued that the law supports an " informed-consent process" and "does nothing more than require that women who are considering an abortion be provided with information that is truthful, non-misleading and relevant to their decision of whether to have an abortion". The medical staff are required to describe what the images show, including the size of the fetus and any organs or appendages visible. Under the law, doctors faced fines and the possible loss of their medical licenses for discussing guns with patients. The court will hear an abortion case in March, over Louisiana's attempt to require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at local hospitals.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, 14 states require verbal narration and written documentation of an ultrasound prior to a patient's abortion.
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The Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a case challenging a Kentucky abortion regulation, leaving the law intact.
The Louisiana case will test the willingness of the court, which includes two conservative justices appointed by Republican President Donald Trump, to uphold laws that lower courts have ruled unconstitutional.
Challengers, including an abortion clinic, argued that the law forced patients to see the images even if she didn't want to, and that it violated doctors' First Amendment rights. It is nearly identical to a Texas law the court struck down in 2016 as medically unnecessary, and meant to limit a woman' access to the procedure.
The federal appeals court in Cincinnati upheld the Kentucky law, but its sister court in Richmond, Virginia, struck down a similar measure in North Carolina.
The justices left in place a July 2019 decision by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that refused to block the 2015 regulation that industry group CTIA appealed.