The Supreme Court decided yesterday not to take up an Oklahoma case to reinstate required ultrasounds to women before being able to proceed with their abortions. The case, Pruitt v. Nova Health Systems, asked to reinstate The Oklahoma Ultrasound Act, which requires a physician or certified technician to perform an obstetric ultrasound on a woman seeking an abortion, show the woman the ultrasound, and repeat a detailed description of the embryo and visible organs.
A brief written by representatives of Andrew Davis, PC and the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of Nova Health Systems, urges the top US court not to hear the case. They 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.”
The act was originally passed in Oklahoma in 2010, but it was struck down by a district judge in May 2010 and eventually granted a permanent injunction -, essentially a cease and desist order for anyone trying to implement the law – in March 2012. In December 2012, the Oklahoma State Supreme Court upheld the decision by the state trial court.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court mentioned the 1992 Supreme Court case Casey v. Planned Parenthood in their ruling, which “permitted reasonable regulation of abortions that didn’t impose an ‘undue burden’ on a woman’s right to the procedure,” in their statement supporting the former ruling on the law. However, the Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt said their ruling actually conflicted with the case’s precedent.
The US Supreme Court recently rejected another review of an Oklahoma law that aimed to restrict medical abortions.
Media Resources: Ms Magazine 11/12; Washington Post 11/12; Wall Street Journal 11/12; Feminist Majority 11/4