The US Supreme Court has refused to block a Kentucky law requiring doctors to describe ultrasound images to mothers seeking an abortion.
Abortion doctors were appealing a previous ruling upholding the law, which would also require doctors to play mothers their child’s heartbeat.
Lawyers for Kentucky said that “nothing can better inform a patient of the nature and consequences of an abortion than actually seeing an image of the fetus who will be aborted and receiving a medically-accurate description of that image”.
In its previous court hearing, Judge John K. Bush said the law “requires the disclosure of truthful, non-misleading and relevant information about an abortion” and therefore “does not violate a doctor’s right to free speech”.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List, welcomed the decision.
She said: “Modern ultrasound technology opens an unprecedented window into the womb, providing undisputable evidence of the humanity of the unborn child”.
In 2019, several US states passed laws protecting unborn babies from abortion after a heartbeat is detected, usually at around six weeks.
In Ohio, physicians who abort babies with a detectable heartbeat may be fined up to $20,000 and face up to one year in prison.
The federal government also announced it was ending funding for research which used tissue from aborted babies, stating “the dignity of human life” was a “top priority”.